Skip to main content

Full text of "Samuel Butler, author of Erewhon (1835-1902) a memoir"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

I •« !« 



















(1835-1902) . 




Hanpil, Tugi VI, 


• —A— N 






First EdUion tgiQ 
RfPrtMUd tgzo 




The Way of All Flesh . i 


1885— Part II. 1886 
Luck or CunningT 18 


1887. 1888— Part I 
Ex VOTO 46 


,888— Part II. 1889 

Narcissus^ The Universal Review^ and preparing for 

The Life of Dr. Butler 64 



Studying Counterpoint and taking leave of Evolution 89 



The Problem of the Odyssey 103 





Sicily 121 


The Wanderings of Ulysses 148 



The Country of the Odysssv 175 


1895 — Part I 
The Country of the Iliad 300 


1895 — Part II 

Preparing Dr. Butler's Life^ the Odyssey Book, and 

Ulysses 226 


The Life and Letters of Dr, Samuel Butler . .239 


1897 — Part I 
The Authoress of the Odyssey 264 




1897— Part II. 1898 


The Problem of the Sonnets and The Iliad rendered 

INTO English Prose 282 


1899. 1900 — Part I 
Shakespear^s Sonnets Reconsidered .... 299 


1900 — Part II 
The Odyssey rendered into English Prose . . 326 



Ereivhon Revisited 337 


1902 — Part I 
Editing his Remains 360 


1902 — Part II 
Last Days 388 

I 902-19 I 6 
On Lips of other Men 40a 




A. Miss Savage's Review of Erewhon .... 439 

B. Letter to T. W. G. Butler (i8th Feb. 1876) . . 444 

C. Documents relating to the Quarrel between Butler 

AND Darwin 446 

D. Chronology and Addenda for The Way of All Flesh 468 

E. Inventories for Outings 472 

INDEX 475 


"Family Prayers" (1864), from the oil-painting by Butler now 

at St. John's College, Cambridge .... Frontispiece 


Clifford's Inn, showing Alfred standing in the window of Butler's 

room, from a photograph taken by Butler in 1888 • 46 

Portrait of Samuel Butler, from a photograph taken by Pizzetta 

at Varallo-Scsia in 1889 ^4 

Butler and Jones in Gogin's studio at Shoreham, from a photo- 
graph taken by Charles Gogin in 1 890 . • . . 89 

Trapani and the Islands from Mount Eryx, from a drawing, now 

at St. John's College, Cambridge, made by H. F. Jones ini9i3 175 

Portrait of Samuel Butler (1896), from the oil-painting by 

Charles Gogin in the National Portrait Gallery. . •239 

Portrait of Samuel Butler, from a photograph taken by Alfred 

Emery Cathie in 1898 282 

Samael Butler at Home, from a photograph taken by Alfred 

Emery Cathie 326 

Portrait of Alfred Emery Cathie, from the oil-painting by Butler 

in Alfred's possession . . . . . . t 337 

Facsimile of a Letter from Butler to Mr. and Mrs. Fuller 

Maitland (14th May 1902) 388 

Portrait of Henry Festing Jones (1903), from the oil-painting 

by Charles Gogin in the possession of H. F. Jones . .402 




The Way of All Flesh was, as the reader will have 
observed, altered and re-written in accordance with Miss 
Savage's criticisms and suggestions ; and so intimately 
was it connected with her that, after her death, Butler 
could not bring himself to work on it any more ; never- 
theless, until the end of his life, he always intended to do 
so. Begun in 1873 ^'^^ ^^^ touched after 1885 it is one 
of the books — perhaps the principal book — he had in 
mind when, in 1898, he wrote this sentence in the account 
of the relations between himself and Pauli : 

If in my books, from Erewhon [1872] to Luck or Cunning f 
[1887] there is a something behind the written words which the 
reader can feel but not grasp — and I fancy that this must be so — 
it is due, I believe, to the sense of wrong which was omnipresent 
with me, not only in regard to Pauli, the Darwins, and my 
father, but al^o in regard to my ever-present anxiety about 

In the Appendix is given a chronology of the novel 
and also a list of addenda. The chronology was made in 
the course of re-writing the book because he found he 
was liable to forget the dates, and so, to avoid contradict- 
ing himself, he made a statement for reference, to which 
perhaps he did not strictly adhere. In the addenda he 
put notes of things to be inserted, which were perhaps 
now all inserted when the time came. 

In form the story is, like the Book of Job and the 
Odyssey y that of the good man passing through trials and 
coming out triumphant in the end. Ernest is sustained 
by faith in " a something as yet but darkly known which 



makes right right and wrong wrong" (chap. Ixviii.). 
If there is but little love-interest in the book, the Odyssey 
does not contain more and the Book of Job contains less. 
Had he wished to write a love story, no doubt he could 
have done it ; and the relations between Edward Overton 
and Alethea, supposed to be in love and yet never 
marrying, would have provided material for an account of 
a sentimental attachment. The parties might even have 
been allowed to marry when they were both past seventy. 
They never marry and Butler thought that the reader was 
entitled to some explanation. All the explanation he 
gets, however, is contained in ch. xviii. when they meet at 
Ernest's christening : 

It is impossible for me to explain how it was that she and I 
never married. We two knew exceedingly well, and that must 
suffice for the reader. There was the most perfect sympathy and 
understanding between us ; we knew that neither of us would 
marry anyone else. I had asked her to marry me a dozen times 
over; having said this much I will say no more upon a point 
which is in no way necessary for the development of my story. 

These words represent the fact about as accurately as 
Theobald's letter represents the fact when, in proposing 
to Christina, he tries to blind her to any lack of fervoiu* 
there may be in his subseauent conduct by throwing into 
her eyes the dust of an imaginary dead love. Butler's 
difficulty arose partly from his having made Alethea so 
beautiful. If Miss Savage had been beautiful he might 
have wanted to marry her, and then he would have had a 
precedent in real life from which to draw the relations 
between Edward Overton and Alethea. As it was he had 
no precedent for the situation he had created in the book ; 
the relations between himself and Isabella might have 
supplied hints, but Isabella could not have written Miss 
Savage's letters, while Alethea could. In other respects 
also Isabella was too difierent from an educated English- 
woman .of his own class to afford much help ; and, after 
all, Ernest was the hero, not Edward Overton. So he 
wrote the mysterious passage I have quoted, and left the 
reader to make what he could of it. 

He knew that the first few chapters, dealing mth 



Ernest's ancestry, were a little long, but he wished to 
emphasise Ernest's pre-natal experiences and wrote the 
opemng and left it as it stands intentionally, meaning it to 
be illustrative of the theory of Life and Habit. The 
climax is the spiritual and physical emancipation of a 
human being from the unnatural restraints imposed upon 
him by the stupidity, folly, and ignorance of those who 
had controlled his early life. 

Returning with a cold from a Christmas outing he 
wrote to one of his sisters (29th December 1885) : 

Curiously enough, like all unimaginative people, I have a 
fancy that everyone else has a cold as soon as I get one myself; 
whereas, until I had caught one, I thought that really no one 
was at slU likely to have one. I hope this fiincy is groundless so 
far as you all are concerned. 

He often spoke of his unimaginativeness, but I think 
he knew that like Nausicaa {The Authoress of the Odyssey y 
p. 202) he was endowed with that other and ^^ highest 
kind of imagination which consists in wise selection and 
judicious application of material derived from life." He 
used to say : " Appropriate passages are intended to be 
appropriated " ; he was always on the look-out for 
appropriate phrases and incidents, and acquired great skill 
in fitting them in. The incidents may in his pages be 
sometimes presented not as other people saw them, but 
they appear as he himself saw them, except for occasional 
twists which he thought necessary for artistic reasons. 
Instances of appropriation occur on nearly every page. 
The shepherd (chap, xiv.) who was covered with confusion 
when they came to the words "Shepherds with your 
flocks abiding " is taken from a boy at school with me 
who, it was sdd, always blushed when the choir practised 
•• He saw the lovely youth," in Theodora ; and Butler's old 
uncle, Philip Worsley, said, as George Pontifex says 
(chap, xviii.), "You forget you have to deal with a stomach 
that is totally disorganised." 

I do not know whether any one ever actually preached 
the sermon introducing the delicate blossom unfolding 
and promising autumn fruit on the barren fig-tree, but it 

4 DEATH-BEDS xxiy 

was a story current at Cambridge about Butler's time. 
Ernest's sermon (chap. Ixi.) about the little cake of the 
widow of Zarephath was invented, and contsuns an echo 
of part of this note : 


Mead is the lowest of the intoxicants, just as Church is the 
lowest of the dissipations, and carraway seed the lowest of the 

Ernest was thinking of how in his boyhood on 
Sunday mornings on the way home from church, he used 
sometimes to accompany his elders to call on a kind old 
lady with broad ribbons to her cap who would bring out 
of the sideboard a glass of mead (in my own case it was 
raisin wine) and a slice of seed cake wherewith to regale 
her young visitor. Ernest assumed that among his 
congregation there must be some in whose memories the 
peculiar odour emanating from that sideboard cupboard 
was still lingering. 

I am arraid I must confess to being the culprit who 
provided Ernest with his pseudo-death-bed regret that he 
had been much too good to his parents (chap. Ixxx.). 
It was while I was recovering from scarlet fever in 
Barnard's Inn in the winter of 1 881-1882. I was very 
weak, and Butler had to stoop down to hear what I said. 
When I had said it he burst out laughing, and exclaimed, 
" Oh, you're all right," just as the nurse claps her hands 
when Ernest is recovering in prison. 

Christina's death-bed (chap. Ixxxiii.) is drawn partly 
from Mrs. Butler's death-bed at Men tone in 1873 • 

^ She has been the comfort and mainstay of my life for more 
than thirty years," said Theobald, as soon as all was over, ^^ but 
one could not wish it prolonged," and he buried his face in his 
handkerchief to conceal his want of emotion. 

Part of this speech is slightly altered from the words 
of a letter Canon Butler wrote from Mentone, 21st March 
1873 ; ^^^ ^ ^^^ ^^ ^^st of it, Butler often told me how 
his father wandered about the house as the end approached 
repeating that one could not wish it prolonged. I suppose 


that Christina's cry, " Oh, I knew he would come, I knew, 
I knew he would come," and Ernest's breaking down and 
weeping at her bed-side, are taken from what happened 
when Butler approached his dying mother at Men tone, but 
he never told me so. It was Mrs. Bridges who made the 
muddle about putting the letters into the wrong envelopes. 
The incident occurred during Canon Butler's illness in 
1883, ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^ letters was to Langar asking for the 
prayers of the congregation ; naturally they went wrong, 
for which she abused Butler who had been told to post 

When he went to stay with his people there really was 
in his bedroom a card with the words : 

Be the day weary, or be the day long, 
At last It ringeth to Evensong. 

It will be remembered that Ernest at family prayers 
(chap. Ixxxiii.) knelt next Charlotte and said the responses 
perfunctorily. This also is founded on fact as will appear 
from this note made in 1883 : 

When I was last at Shrewsbury I noted that the prayers 
began, ^ O God, who art alwa]rs more ready to hear than we to 
pray.'' Is it not rather impertinent to tell God this ? 

I knelt next my elder sister and repeated the responses to the 
Lord's Prayer, but perfunctorily — not enough for her to be able to 
lay hold of^ but perfunctorily as one who meant to do the lot, and 
then forgot a bit, and then woke up a bit. I don't know whether 
she noticed, and I took care she should not be able to think it was 

Here is a chain of notes about Butler's two sisters of 
whom Charlotte Pontifex is but a feint sketch : 


We went at the beginning of this month to hear a lecture on 
evolution by a man named Weldon. It was very dull ; we 
thought it would be, but I thought I rather ought to go. I sat 
just below James Martineau ; he looked very old ; I think he 
knew me but am not sure. Jones and I arrived some half-an-hour 
before the lecture began, so we brought out The Bird 0* Freedom 
and The Sporting TimeSy perhaps the two most uncultured papers 
in London, and read them while waiting. [1885.] 

HARRIE xxit 

Mrs. Bridges and Mrs. Weldon 

On the afternoon of this same day my sister Harrie had called 
on me by arrangement for a cup of tea and to meet Jones. She 
was highly charged with electricity, but she wanted to make an 
impression on Jones, and more particularly to outshine May, who 
had had a similar interview with Jones a year before. This, 
however, was not to bar her right to scratch me should occasion 
offer, and in the course of time the occasion was induced to offer 
itself in this wise. I said that we were going to hear the lecture 
referred to in the preceding note, and added that Mr. Weldon, the 
lecturer, might be a far away cousin of ours as we had Weldon 
ancestors who had lived at Naseby during the civil wars. 
Harrie said she knew nothing of this, but hoped we were not 
related to Mrs. Weldon. 

«Oh no,** said I, "I hope not, she's horrid." 

I could see that Harrie had been getting more and more 
highly charged with electricity, and my words were the 
occasion of an immediate flash. 

^^I must say, Sam," she said, ^^that I think you know a great 
many very horrid women." 

I said I did not know Mrs. Weldon, and had never even 
seen her. 

Harrie said : ^ Perhaps not, but I think you are apt to take 
extreme views of people." 

I laughed it off, and changed the subject, but Harrie flushed 
up and, I hope, felt better inasmuch as she had had her scratch. 
As for Mrs. Weldon she must be rather disagreeable, at least one 
would think so, for she is at this moment undergoing a sentence 
of six months' imprisonment for libel. 

I saw Harrie look up at the sketches which hang over my 
mantelpiece ; she said nothing, and I said they were most of 
them my own. 

Harrie said : " Yes, I see they " and then stopped. 

She meant to say she could see they were by me as they were 
so bad, but stoppea before she got to the word ^^are" which, 
however, she knew very well would go without saying. [1885.] 

Miss Butler's Carol 

Good news ! good news for all the world 

Peals out from every steeple, 
A tale of joy without alloy 

To us and all the people. 


Homeward we flock from East and West, 

Home to our yearly meeting, 
A sense of rest in every breast. 

On every lip a greeting. 
Old friends clasp hands, old foes make peace, 

Old sorrows fade away ; 
For Christ was born in Bethlehem, 

And this is Christmas Day. 

All through the night the silent stars 

Looked forth from cloudless skies. 
Trembling for very joy until 

The morning star should rise ; 
All heaven seemed bursting into song. 

All nature listening, 
The expectant world ^ on bended knee 

Was waiting for the King. 
Now dawn is come, the angels sing. 

And we are glad as they ; 
For Christ was bom in Bethlehem, 

And this is Christmas Day. 

Our Gavotte Album 

The day after I had read the foregoing (Majr's Carol) I took 
Jones's and my Gavottes to Novello's for engraving. I did not 
notice that the stars had been particularly noisy on the preceding 
evening ; the buses were going about the streets much as usual 
auid, only that the pavement was greasy by reason of the thaw, 
there was not much evidence of sympathy on the part of inanimate 
nature. True, there had been an explosion on the underground 
railway a few days previously, and also Mr. Gladstone was 
indisposed, but neither of these events was distinctlv connected 
with the Gavottes, so I just took them to NoveUo s and came 
home to dinner. [1885.] 


Or rather my part of it. I played ^ Ah, cruel Fortune '' to 
May. She did not say anything except : 

^ I should like to see how the words go." 

I gave her the music, and she said no more. Then I played 
the choruses. She said : 

^ And have you brought down ail that vou.have done ? '* 

I said I had, and there the matter ended. 

Harrie went on writing letters and said nothing what- 
ever. [1884.] 

> Mty wrote *'A11 Chrittendom," bat the Editor [of 7VU Albaty Afagmnt^ in 
which the carol appeared, January 1S85] reflected that Chrittendom was not yet in 
caistence and changed the reading. — S. B. 


Two Are Better Than One 

I heard some one say this and reph'ed : 
*^ Yes, but the man who said that did not know my sisters." 
This proverb is the help-meet for The Half is Greater than 
the Whole of Hesiod. [ 1 893.] 

And Butler thought he was letting Ernest ofF easily by 
giving him only one sister when he had two himself. 

Towneley is intended as a contrast to Ernest. He 
crowded into Towneley all the good things he had observed 
in those of his friends whom he most admired. There 
had been nothing wrong in Towneley*s bringing up. 
With a great price Ernest obtained his freedom, but 
Towneley was born free. His parents died when he was 
very young in order that he might not be bullied in child- 
hood, and they were drowned by the overturning of a 
boat in order that there might be no suspicion of either of 
them having died of any disease which Towneley might 
have inherited. 

After the book was published. Canon M'Cormick said 
to me : 

" Well, Tve got The JVay of All Flesh, and I must say 
I find it very painful reading." 

I said, " I told you not to read it." 

He replied, " Yes, I know you did ; but I was obliged 
to get it. Of course, I see he has put me in — of course I 
am Towneley, and he says a great many very kind things 
about me ; but I am glad you called, because I particularly 
want you to understand that the incident of Towneley's 
visit to Miss Snow is not drawn from life." 

I did not tell the old gentleman that Towneley was 
drawn more from Pauli, or rather from what Butler had 
persuaded himself that Pauli was, than from any one else, 
for this would have been to tell him that the "kind 
things" were not all about him. But the particular 
incident of Towneley*s visit to Miss Snow was drawn 
from Butler himself, not from Pauli. Butler never was 
on sufficiently intimate terms witl^ Pauli to be able to 
take any such incident from him. 

Other people thought the book " very painful reading.** 


Some years after Butler's death I met a lady at dinner 
who told me she had been reading The Old Wive^ Tale by 
Arnold Bennett, and asked me to recommend her some 
other book. I recommended The Way of All Flesh. She was 
up in arms in a moment. The book had been mentioned 
to her by a Quaker friend^ and she had got it and begun 
it. It had disgusted and shocked and horrified her so 
much that she had burnt it in the fire in her drawing- 
room grate. 

I was never quick, as Butler was, to recognise and 
appropriate appropriate passages ; but next time I met 
this lady, having had time to think over her words, I 
said : 

" Would • you mind my introducing your burning 
The Way of All Flesh into the life of Butler which I am 
writing ? " 

She remembered all about it, but was coy because, as 
she said, burning is not very polite treatment. I replied : 

"Never mind about the rudeness. Haven't you 
noticed that authors do not object to abuse ? The only 
thing that really irritates them is indiilerence." 

"Oh^ there was none of that," she exclaimed, and 
gradously gave her consent. 

Both Ernest and Edward Overton are pieces of self- 
portraiture and give a far better idea of Butler than 
could ever be given by any one else except that, no 
doubt from considerations of modesty, he suppresses 
many of his own good points. Any one who knew 
him can recognise many passages wherein he is laughing 
at himself and at his own little failings, oddities, and 

When Edward Overton doubts whether Ernest ever 
will be as wary as he ought to be about trusting any one 
who is kind to him — ^this is a dig at himself. He was 
always thinking, as he says of Ernest (chap. Ixxvii.), 
that people had a claim upon him for some inestimable 
service they had rendered him or some irreparable mischief 
done to them by himself, so much so that I used to say 
of him that he must always pay double and other people 
might only pay him half. 


Again (chap. Ixxiii.) when Ernest finds that no 
absolutely incontrovertible first principle is possible, and 
is just as well pleased as though he had found the most 
perfect system imaginable — all he wanted was to know 
which way it was to be — this is exactly like himself. 
And so it is when (chap. Ixxx.) ^* having found a theory 
on which to justify himself, he slept in peace." As with 
Butler so with Ernest, when anything puzzled him there 
must be a theory, only a working hypothesis if you like, 
but final, pro tem. This was part of the tidiness 
of Butler's nature which Ernest inherited from the 

Again, any statement involving a contradiction, not 
realised as such by the person making it, outraged his 
sense of tidiness. No one felt more acutely than he did 
that life depends upon the equilibrium resulting from 
the clash of opposites, and this involves the existence of 
contradictions. But these are not untidy contradictions 
springing from muddle-headedness and carelessness ; there 
is no untidiness in intentional contradictions which are 
pigeon-holed as such from the first. 

The episode (chap, xliv.) of the old gentleman, who 
turned out to be the police magistrate, watching Ernest 
in the train, is taken from something that happened to 
Butler. He was going in the Underground from the 
Temple to High Street, Kensington, i.e. from Clifford's 
Inn to the Albert Hall, to hear the Messiah and had 
the music with him ; during the journey he was thinking 
of his troubles with Pauli and his father and of his money 
difficulties, just as Ernest going home from school was 
thinking of'^his own troubles, and smiled resignedly as it 
occurred to him that after all perhaps it did not matter. 
Just then he noticed that a passenger opposite was 
watching him, and amused himself, in a kind of burlesque 
Christina reverie, by wondering whether or no his smile of 
resignation would be attributed to religious exaltation 
because he was cuddling the Messiah. 

Ernest's landlady, Mrs. Jupp, was in real life Mrs. 
Boss who used to wait on Reginald Worsley, as has been 
said earlier. But Mrs. Jupp had to be edited into a far 


more respectable person than ever poor old Boss was. 
Here is a note about the original : 


Boss's son, Tom, is illegitimate ; but he has himself committed 
bigamy, first with Topsy and now with Phoebe— or ** Phocb," 
as Boss calls her without sounding the final ^^ e." Boss was not 
married quite enough ; Tom is married a little too much. She 
was saying one day that illegitimacy did not matter, and was 
pleased when my cousin explained to her that all the animals 
were illegitimate, [1887O 

Ernest's life in Ashpit Place is drawn from Butler's 
life in Heddon Street after he had come down from 
Cambridge and was intending to take orders. Th^ 
lodgers in Ernest's house are the lodgers in his own 
house. Pryer is not drawn from any one ; he was wanted 
so that Ernest might lose his money ; the account of 
Ernest's shares going up and down with Pryer (chap. 
Iv. et seq.) is, however, taken from what Butler experienced 
with Henry Hoare. 

Ernest did not go to New 2^aland and Butler never 
went to prison, which he used to regret when he was 
approaching this part of the book, for he did not see 
how he was ever going to make it plausible. In the end 
he paid a visit to Coldbath Fields, was most politely 
received, stated his difficulty and obt^ned all the informa- 
tion he required. 

I do not know of any original for the episode of 
Ellen's leaving Battersby ; he perhaps took her previous 
marriage with John from the disclosure towards the 
end of Pendennis of Amory's bigamy. I do not mean 
that the disclosure of bigamy is not used to get rid of 
inconvenient spouses and bring the story to an end in 
other novels, but Butler was familiar with Thackeray's 
books and early in life admired them. (Cf. The Note-Books 
of Samuel Butler^ p. 188.) 

The meeting and subsequent marriage of Ernest and 
EUen was founded on what happened to Butler's friend 
£. whose umbrella caught in a woman's dress in Holborn, 


12 « AN AWFUL MESS " xxiv 

which led to a conversation, which led to something 
further, which led to their marriage when E. attained 
twenty-one. E. and his wife, however, were strangers 
when they met in the street, and never kept an old- 
clothes shop ; but she did take to drinking and evil 
courses, and E. acted on his discoveries and divorced her. 
Ernest and Ellen have two children, a girl and a boy, 
because only two, a girl and a boy, survived of the 
children which E/s wife bore to him. Butler has it in 
his notes that I was telling the story of E.'s married life 
to Mr. Forster, the father of a college friend of mine, 
and told him further that E.'s son once s^d to his 
father : 

*^Do you know, papa, I don't think I shall marry 
when I grow up." 

" Oh, why not, my boy ? " said E. 

** Well, you see, you did make such an awful mess of it." 

Mr. Forster was much scandalised and supposed that 
E. reproved his son. 

I said, " No, he did not. He knew very well he had 
made an avrful mess of it, that his wife was a bad woman, 
and he was very thankful to have got rid of her." 

Mr. Forster said, "Well, but after all she was the 
mother of his children." 

"Yes," I said, "there was never any doubt about 
that ; the question was whether he was their father." 

The account of Ernest's coming home, finding Ellen 
drunk and being humbugged into believing that it was 
the result of her being in an interesting condition, the 
neglect of the house, and all the rest of the misery, was 
taken from what E. told Butler about his own married 
life. Butler used to say there was no occasion for him 
ever to get married ; he had learnt all there was to know 
from E. After the novel was published I was talking 
about it to E., who said that all this part was wonderfully 
well done. I said : 

" Of course you think so ; it is all reproduced from 
what you told him of your own experiences." 

E. had forgotten having told Butler anything about 
his own married life. 


The place where Ernest puts his children is the Long 
Reach Tavern down the river opposite Purfleet. We 
often lunched there on our Sunday walks, and sometimes 
brought back mushroom ketchup made by the landlady 
from mushrooms gathered by her children. This matter 
of Ernest's children is another point of difierence between 
Butler and Ernest, so far as mere facts are concerned. 
Butler was never married — not even bigamously ; and 
never had any children — ^so far as he knew ; but he made 
Ernest behave to Alice and Georgie as he believed that 
he would himself have tried to behave to any children he 
might have had, instead of treating them as Theobald 
treated Ernest. I think it possible that parts of the scheme 
might in practice have been subjected to modification. 

Several unimportant misprmts occurred in the first 
edition of the book and one important one, which was 
corrected in the edition of 1908. What Edward Overton 
(chap. Ixxvii.) really said was, " 'Tis better to have loved and 
lost than never to have lost at all," and it was right in the 
proofs ; but some cultured printer's reader, who had too 
seriously taken to heart Lord Salisbury's recommendation 
to verify your references, "corrected" it after the last 
revise had been passed. Edward Overton was " quoting 
from memory," and this particular piece of mckedness 
was hit upon as a pendant to that other in chap. iv. of 
Alfs and Sanctuaries : 

Mr. Tennyson has well said, ^ There lives more doubt " — I 
quote from memory — ^^in honest faith, believe me, than in half 
the systems of philosophy,'' or words to that effect. 

Butler could not for a long time make up his mind how 
to use the one about loving and losing because, if applied 
to any one who was dead, it was difficult to manage 
without giving offence ; ultimately this conversation was 
built up to meet the case. 

He often said that any one who had become a widower, 
or had divorced his wife, had been inoculated for marriage 
and had recovered. 

When I was at Cambridge there was an undergraduate, 
a good deal older than the rest of us and a blackguard, 


who lodged in the same house with one of my friends. I 
asked my friend how he got on with the older man and 
he replied : 

" Oh, he's all very well — ^when he's sober." 

And the lady students at Heatherley's used to call 
Butler " the incarnate bachelor." Here, at the opening of 
chap. Ixxvii., in less than seven lines, are four passages 
which had been floating in his head for years until at last 
he worked them together, like bits of mosaic, into this 
conversation ; and yet the passage reads perfectly smoothly 
and has no feeling of mosaic about it. 

There was another mistake in chap. Ix., but the printer 
was not responsible for this. ^' It was the Bible given 
him at his christening by his aflfectionate godmother 
and aunt, Elizabeth Allaby." Alethea was Ernest's god- 
mother. But Butler had a christening Bible of his own 
with this inscription : 

*^ Samuel Butler, from his aflPectionate godmother and 
aunt, Anna Worsley. September 13th, 1836." 

In appropriating this inscription for Ernest he sub- 
stituted for the name of his own maternal aunt that of 
Ernest's, whereas he should have written that of Ernest's 
paternal aunt ; but he was not going to allow Ernest to 
lU-treat anything given him by Alethea, It may be he 
forgot that Ernest, like most boys, had only one god- 
mother ; it is however just as likely that he knew what he 
was doing, and thought that to let such a consideration 
weigh with him would have been to pay too much atten- 
tion to a detail concerning an unimportant formality of 
the Church. Just as he told Miss Savage that it was as 
well not to know how a saint's name should be spelt when 
she pointed out that he had written "St. Lewis" for 
"St. Louis" in Life and Habit (ante, I. 263). Whatever 
the explanation may be, Streatfeild and I both overlooked 
the point when we were reading the proofs. 

The text from the Epistle to the Romans quoted on 
the title-page, " We know that all things work together 
for good to them that love God," was a favourite one 
with him : it is referred to again in chap. Ixviii., where it 
is followed by an allusion to " that noble air of Handel's, 


* Great God, Who yet but darkly known/** He was 
continually quoting it in all sorts of connections. 

Many years after the novel was written we were in 
Palermo and went to the Palazzo Reale to see the mosaics 
in the Cappella Palatina. Butler paid at the door and the 
custode gave him a bad lira among his change ; he 
noticed it at once and they had words about it, but it was 
of no use. The custode was a lordly old gentleman, 
voluble in his speech and overwhelming in his gestures and 
manners ; he carried too many guns and deafened us with 
his protestations — first, that it was a good lira ; secondly, 
that it was not the one he had given us, and so on, and so 
on. We could not have felt more ashamed of ourselves 
if we had been foiled in an attempt to convict the Cardinal- 
Archbishop himself of uttering counterfeit coin. So we 
gave it up and passed in defeated. When we came out 
we had recovered a little, and the custode, who had 
forgotten all about so usual an occurrence, returned our 
imibrellas to us with an obsequiousness capable of but one 

" I shall not give him anything," said Butler severely 
to me. " Oh yes, I will though," he added, and his eyes 
twinkled as he fumbled in his pocket. Then, with a very 
fair approach to Sicilian politeness, he handed the bad lira 
back to the old gentleman. 

The custode's face changed and changed again like a 
field of corn on a breezy morning. In spite of his 
archiepiscopal appearance he would have been contented 
with a few soldi ; seeing a whole lira he beamed with 
delight ; then, detecting its badness, his countenance fell 
and he began to object ; almost immediately he identified 
it as his own coin and was on the point of bursting with rage 
but, suddenly realising that he could have nothing to say, 
he laughed heartily, shook hands with both of us, and 
apologised for not being able to leave his post as he would 
so much have liked to drink a glass of wine with us. 

" There, now we have made another friend for life," 
said Butler as we drove away. " This comes of doing the 
right thing. We must really be more careful. It is 
another illustration of what I am so constantly telling you ; 



this is the sort of thing that must have been in the 
Apostle's mind when he said that about ail things working 
together for good to them that love God." 

All through his life, whatever he was engaged upon, 
whether it was an apparently trivial matter or one 
apparently of the first importance — whether at Palermo 
he was paying back the custode in his own coin, or in The 
Fair Haven paying back the cashiers of the musical banks 
in an ironical imitation of their own coin — nothing ever 
shook his belief that if a man loves God he cannot come 
to much harm. We may not always know very clearly 
what is meant by God, and things may not always work 
together for the particular kind of good that we desire ; 
but there is *^ a something as yet but darkly known which 
makes right right and wrong wrong," and no man can 
ultimately fail who obeys the dictates of that voice which 
we can all hear within us if we will but listen. But he 
must obey without regard to theological dogmas or social 
conventions ; he must never allow mistakes to dishearten 
him — mistakes made in good faith will teach him more 
than anything else ; and he must never grow weary of 
taking pains. Then each difHculty will vanish like a 
morning mist, and his next step will be made clear. 

Alethea realised that Ernest had this faith and that he 
was the sort of boy who would act steadfastly upon it, 
therefore she left him her money ; and this led to Ernest's 
experiencing the trial of wealth, as well as that of poverty, 
and affected the particular form of his final success. But 
if he had had no Aunt Alethea, or if Edward Overton had 
lost the money, that would only have given rise to different 
incidents and, after some other trials, some other kind of 
happiness would have been reached in the end. 

Had Butler re-written the book he might have thought 
it worth while to emphasise Ernest's final success and 
happiness which, it may be, is presented in a form that 
may strike some readers as not unlike failure. But I do 
not think he would have altered it, for we all know that 
happiness consists in doing what a man likes and not in 
doing what other people think he ought to like. Writing 
about his own literary position in 1893 he said : 




I should have liked notoriety and financial success well enough 
if they could have been had for the asking, but I was not going to 
take any trouble about them and, as a natural consequence, I did 
not get them. If I had wanted them with the same passionate 
longing that has led me to pursue every inquiry that I have 
pursued, I should have got them &st enough* It is very rarely 
that I have failed to get what I have really tried for and, as a 
matter of fact, I believe I have been a great deal happier for not 
trying than I shoidd have been if I had had notoriety thrust 
upon me. 

And so» haying made Ernest as like himself as he 
could, he left him in the happy position of being free, like 
himself, to do and say the things he considered best worth 
doing and saying. 



1885— Part IL 1886 

18S5 It must have been in June 1885 that some one sent 
Aet 49 Butler a copy of // Dovere (a Ticinese newspaper) for 
29th May, in which there was a reference to Alps and 
SanctuarieSy speaking of the author as a ** ricco milionario/' 
Butler made a note about how he brought this up to my 
chambers one morning, as he was on his way to the 
Museum, and began reading it to me. On arriving at 
the ** rich millionaire " he stopped, and this is how his note 
proceeds : 

At this point I could read no more. Fancy the growth of 
myth investing me with monev 1 I was in Jones's sitting-room. 
Jones was in his bedroom finishing dressing. Ann [Jones's 
laundress] was preparing his breakfast in the pantry. I laughed 
rather dryly and said : 

"The gentleman who wrote that does not do my washing.*' 

Ann heard this in the pantry and laughed, for she does my 
washing and knew what I meant. 

" But," I continued, " my clothes are not worn out j they 
are only tired — they are only inexpressibly weary." 

Ann and my Clothes 

Ann, Jones's laundress, now does my washing. I could not 
get my things properly mended, and for want of this they got 
more and more ragged. Then Mrs. Doncaster took to washing 
for me ; and this meant that she did not wash, but stuffed all my 
clothes into the dirty-clothes bag and let them lie there till, at 
the latest possible moment, she took from the top what would just 
do for Sunday and left the rest where they were. I remonstrated, 




but the poor woman had more than she could do, and at last 1S85 
I struck and insisted that Ann should run my washing and Aet 49 
mending. Ann told Jones she found my things so ragged that 
she was ashamed to send them to her own mangier, but sent the 
boy with them to a mangier who did not know her name and 
address. She told Jones not to tell me, but he told me. It is all 
the fault of my books and of their reviewers that I put ofF 
getting new things until the last possible moment. [1885.] 

In reply to a general invitation from Mr. Edward 
Clodd, Buder proposed to go and see him on a Sunday 
evening at the end of June. Clodd replied accepting the 
proposal, and telling Butler that he would meet Grant 
Allen, who was to call on Holman Hunt in the afternoon 
but would be at Clodd's in the evening. Butler, thinking 
it better to prepare Clodd for the possibility of the 
meeting between himself and Grant Allen not being very 
cordial, wrote a letter of which he kept a copy that has no 
date. Here b the letter, followed by a letter to Miss 
Butler, and two notes arising out of or connected with the 

Butler to Mr. Edward Clodd. 

Dear Clodd — ^Grant Allen and I are both very good sort of 
people in our different wajrs, but the world is wide enough to let 
us, perhaps, do wisely in keeping out of each other's reach. We 
have each given the other cause to complain, I in saying that 
Grant Allen wrote an article which he did not sign, and he in 
writing the article in question. I consider myself justified — ^so, 
doubtless, and very likely with more reason, does he ; but I am 
afiaid of him, and don't want to meet him ;* besides he will have 
been to see Holman Hunt, and what good can I expect from a 
person who goes to see Holman Hunt ? 

I went by the Glen Rosa to Clacton-on-Sea yesterday and did 
not get back till 10 o'clock, so had no means of communicating 
"With you sooner or I would have done so. — Believe me, yours 
truly, S. Butler. 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

30 yune 1885 — I went to an old acquaintance's on Sunday 
evening, or should have written then. He [Mr. Edward Clodd] 
is secretary to the Joint Stock Bank of London and writes mildly 
broad-church books. He had made what I am sure was a plant 


1885 to bring me and one of my particular foes, Grant Alien, together. 
Aet. 49 I had said I would go and late on Saturday night — too late for me 
to get out of it — Grant Allen was sprung upon me as to be of 
the company, so I must either make a good deal of fuss or go and 
be civil. Of course the second alternative was the proper one ; at 
the same time I did not like it, for Grant Allen had behaved 
badly by me and I had given it to him pretty hot in one of my 
books. However, I went and did the thing handsomely, assuring 
him how glad I was to have the pleasure of meeting him and 
behaving as though there never had been the smallest row of any 
kind between us. This is literary etiquette and, to do him 
justice, he behaved very well too, so it all went off smoothly. 
There were a lot of other literary (and scientific) people there, and 
I derived more of an impression that last year's Athenaeum row 
had been working than I have done on any occasion since the 
row ; ^ but it disgusted me to hear Grant Allen praise Evolution 
Old and New so warmly, and say of what great use he had found 
it and all the rest of it — which indeed is true, for it has appeared 
clearly enough in his books — and to remember that, when it came 
out, he laughed at it and sneered at it as *^ leaving the reader 
without a single clear idea upon any subject whatever" and did 
it more mischief than anyone else I know ; and all the time I had 
had his first book, his Colour Sense^ submitted to me by Triibner in 
its sketch state, and did all I could to induce TrQbner to take it, 
which he did. However, what it comes to virtually is that 
Grant Allen wanted to make peace and I let him, and I daresay it 
is as welL 

Grant Allen 

When I met him at Clodd's a year ago. Bates the naturalist 
was there ; he * would hardly speak to me, marking displeasure in 
ways I could not misunderstand ; and when I tried to say good- 
night to him alone with the others he would not let me. It was 
aU done very quietly, but I do not doubt my interpretation of his 
manner. He repeatedly spoke of Darwin's brilliant discovery of 
natural selection, and if he knew no better than what he said, he 
was simply an old fool. His displeasure with me was doubtless 
for my attack on Darwin. 

Grant Allen said innocently : 

" I wonder whether Darwin was in any way influenced by 
the works of his grandfather." 

' By the « row " he meant the correspondence that followed the Atkenaeum review 
of Romanes*! Aftntal Evolution in AmmalM^ ante, I. 409, 410. 

' This is the note as Butler left it \ it is not clear whether '* he " means Grant 
Allen or Bates ; I think it means Bates. 


This was to draw me, and I at once replied, "I can only 1SS5 
speak from my own experience. To me it seems inconceivable Art. 49 
that anyone should pay the smallest attention to anything that 
had been written by his grand&ther." 

I blurted this out with more or less of a wry face, and they 
laughed, whereon the subject dropped. [May 1886.] 

HoLMAN Hunt again 

I have unintentionally run up against this gentleman, I mean 
in the spirit, more than once lately. Last night I dined at Mrs. 
Tylor's, and she told us how Holman Hunt had called on them 
one winter's afternoon, and had been talking of his picture, ^ The 
Light of the World,** and the house in which it was painted. 

'^How I should like," he exclaimed, **to see that house 

Then they asked him where it was, and when he told them 
they found it belonged to them and was now untenanted. 

^*So off we all went," said Mrs. Tylor in her most reginal 
manner, ^ then and there, and got to Chelsea *' (I suppose from 
Queen Anne*s Gate) ^soon after dark. And then we could not 
get the keys, and we remembered that they were at Mr. Morse's 
and they had to be fetched ; and then, when at last they came, 
we could not unlock the door ; so we caught a little street boy 
and put him over the wall and he got into the house and let us 
in ; and then Holman Hunt led the way holding a lanthom in 
his hand, looking — oh so like ^The Light of the World,' you 
know — ^his own picture" ("Just as though," I thought to 
myself " Holman Hunt would miss a point like that. Doubtless 
he said to himself, *Now they are thinking I am so like "The 
Light of the World " ' "). " And he led the way upstairs and 
brought us to the room in which he had painted his great 
picture ; and there, in that very room, he gave us the history of 
his whole past career as an artist." 

" And were there any chairs in the room ? " I thought 
irreverently ; hut of course I said how interesting it must have 
been. [July 1885.] 

The epithet " reginal *' covers an allusion to the fact 
that Mrs. Tylor was an intimate personal friend of 
Queen Victoria. Mr. Sydney Morse, Mrs. Tylor's son- 
in-law, being a solicitor, the keys of the house were, I 
suppose, with him in the course of business. 

About this time Thomas Butler's effects were arriving 
from Corsica. 


Butler to Mrs. Thomas Butler. 

18S5 2 July 1885 — ^Fancy a library consisting of a Bible, a botany 

Aet. 49 book, and an Erewhon \ [These were all the books in my 
brother's possession at the time of his death. — S. B., Feb. nth, 
1902.] Three more respectable volumes it would be hard to 
find. The botany book is the only one against which a shadow 
of complaint can be raised, and I should fear Tom studied it 
more than either of the other two ; but even a botany book is 
only bizarre, it is not d^fendu. 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

24 July 1885 . . . You will gather from this that I am having 
my great annual tidying and cleaning up. I generally do this on 
my return from abroad, but this year have taken it into my head 
that I shall enjoy my outing oetter if I feel that I have left 
everything very trim and shipshape. You know it was said that 
no one could be as wise as Lord Thurlow looked. I want it to be 
that no rooms can look as tidy as mine are. Among other things 
I am arranging in proper order and dating poor Miss Savage's 
letters and as many of mine to her as have reached me. This 
is a very painful business, but no one can do it except me, and 
the letters must have all the care that I can bestow upon them. 
I should burn mine to her but they explain hers so much — when 
there are any — that I cannot do this. 

After his tidying up he went abroad. He crossed 
the S. Bernardino to Bellinzona and wrote to his sister 
(23rd August 1885) that he had lunched in company with 
the monk who was parroco of Soazza : 

I knew him and laughingly reminded him of how he would 
not let me finish a sketch on a festa and I had to go away without 
finishing it. He had heard of Alps and Sanctuaries and wanted 
me to send a copy to Soazza. I again laughed and said I would 
only send one on condition that he would let me make a sketch 
on a Sunday. He saw he was caught and gave me a pinch of 
snufF at once. 

** lo dico niente," he said laughing, " ma siamo intesi.** 

So I suppose I must send him a copy. 

From Bellinzona Butler went to Arona, but the 
family who used to keep the hotel there had removed to 
Florence, so he could not salute Isabella. Thence he went 
to Varallo-Sesia. 


Butler to H. F: Jones. 

Croce Bianca* Varallo-Sesia. X8S5 

15 July 1885 — ^I think you saw the passage from which the ^*^+5 
following is translated ; I have had the piece of newspaper in my 
pocket these three years and only translated it yesterday ; the 
translation runs : 

^Mr. Harblot Browne has died in London at the age of 
60 after having enjoyed twenty years of exceptional popularity 
throughout the whole of England. This admirable artist achieved 
his first successes under the pseudonym of Fix which he adopted 
while illustrating tfab works of Dickens when the author of 
David Coppirfield was still writing under the name of Box. 

^ The pencil of Harblot was of the greatest assistance to Box ; 
those who have observed it in Pikwik^ Nicholas Nicklehy^ David 
CopperfieU and in many another work, will be of one mind as to 
the artistic taste and, above all, the fidelity to nature with which 
Harblot portrayed the characters of the great novelist." 

To this I have added the commentary : 

^One feels as though some book on evolution was being 
reviewed by Mr. Grant Allen, Mr. G. J. Romanes, Professor 
Huxley, Miss Julia Wedgwood, Miss Edith Simcox, or indeed by 
any of our more prolific and thoughtful magazine writers." 

I will put this into my next Italian book. 

Miss Bertha Thomas and Miss Helen Zimmern were 
at Varallo, and they and Butler were the only foreigners 
present at the festa in honour of the fourth centenary 
of the birth of Gaudenzio Ferrari. There were proces- 
sions, bands, flags, illuminations, and fireworks, and Miss 
Thomas sent to The Times a short notice of the proceed- 
ings, which gave great pleasure in the town, and was for 
years afterwards, and perhaps is still, referred to as '* lo 
stupendo articolo.'' 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Hotel Croce Bianca, Varallo-Sbsia, 

26 jfug. 1885 — I went up to the Sacro Monte and heard the 
requiem in the church there. I went under compulsion and 
expected the usual thing ; I was, however, surprised to find how 
good the music was. The orchestra played very well, there was 
nothing harsh about it, all went excellently ; there was not a 

^mmm^^t^^^^Bf^^mBSL ^ jjiji ■■ i 


1885 trace of modern opera and, though there were no set choruses or 
Act. 49 2irs developed to any length, yet he [the composer] was all along 
exposing fugues at every touch and turn and giving one the 
impression that his sympathies were with the old school. I was 
astounded and very much interested. The composer, a certain 
Antonio Cagnoni of Novara^ conducted ; so did the first violin. 
Cagnoni faced the audience and, though beating time — much 
more beautifully than I ever saw time beaten before — rarely even 
looked at the orchestra. The first violin beat with his bow, 
whenever not actually playing, and was all the time running the 
orchestra. Cagnoni moved very little and never changed his 
expression while conducting. He did everything with his hands 
and nothing with fiice or body ; but I never saw anyone get so 
much out of his hands before. The music did not anywhere 
bore me and, in &ct, I was surprised and interested throughout. 
He used what I thought was a piece of common deal a foot long, 
two and a half inches broad, and half an inch thick, to conduct 
with. I had myself introduced to him and requested him tc 
present me with his baton, having endeavoured first to enquire 
whether he had any special regard for it. He did not understand 
this and could not see my drift ; at any rate he was very much 
pleased when he came to see that I wanted his baton as a token 
of respect ; of course I chiefly wanted it to show you, but that 
was not how I put it. I find it is some old newspapers folded up 
pretty tight and wrapped round with silk. It looked exactly like 
a piece of common rough deal. I sent him our Giroottes at once. 
I hear that the Pope has just lately issued an edict absolutely 
forbidding masses to be written in the operatic style. Miss 
Zimmern saw this in the Corriere della Sera^ but I should think 
this mass was written before the edict. The Pope's edict, how- 
ever, ought to have rather interesting results. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Croce Bianca, Varallo-Sesia. 

31 jfug. 1885 — I think I told you about the requiem and 
how I raped Cagnoni's baton. The sindaco wrote a letter to the 
Fal'Sisia about it and informed them that after the mass the 
English " giornalista S. Buttler,"wishing to show his appreciation 
of Cagnoni's music, asked him for the sol& he had used in 
conducting, and that the maestro communicated the request at 
once to the cathedral chapter of Novara, to whom the solfa 
belonged, and they, signifying their consent, he gave the solfa 
*^di buon grado." So it was a great success; Cagnoni and 
everyone was very much pleased and I have got the baton, which 

■« u J -^v^Bwa* ■ — %r s- . — : — ■ L J ^ ifcf .^ * — ^-sr» — mt wj*3'Bviv^«^a^rB3->T— bvv ■■ «^n^i->T*n^pn**«ar 

xrv " OUR FAIR FRIEND " 25 

I like all the better for being the cathedral one. I take it to be 1885 
two old newspapers wrapped round in linen and silk. It is very Aet. 49 
dirty. • . . 

By the way, Cagnoni sent a note acknowledging receipt of 
our Gavottis ; he had not yet had time to examine them but, on 
the cursory inspection he had alone been able to give them before 
writing, he thought them excellent — which is much what people 
say of our music in England, only more politely put. 

Antonio Cagnoni (i 828-1 896) made his first success 
as a writer of comic opera. Grove's Dictionary gives a 
list of 17 operas composed by him of which one, Paph 
Martin^ was performed by Carl Rosa at the Lyceum 
Theatre, London, in 1875 ^ ^^^ Porter of Havre. 
After becoming maestro di cappella in the cathedral and 
director of the Istituto Musicale at Novara he wrote 
nothing but sacred music. He went from Novara to 
Bergamo where he died. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


8 Sipt, 1885 — I got to Varese town on Sunday night and on 
here next morning. As usual it is a festa. ... I bought three 
little watch-glass things, like those we broke, one for me, one 
for you, and one in case we break one. I got one down below 
and the other two from our fair friend up at the top ; she knew 
me and made such a fuss, and immediately asked after you ; and 
she charged me i fr. 25 c. apiece for what were selling down 
below for i fr., but she did it all so beautifully that it was well 
worth the 25 centimes. 

"Our fair friend" was a beautiful woman, one of 
those who sell religious knicknacks just outside the town 
on the top of the Sacro Monte, and the ** little watch- 
glass things'* were among her stock — a pair of watch- 
glasses fastened together like oyster-shells with a strip 
of gilded paper round the edges, the oyster being a 
representation of the Madonna among coloured flowers. 
This lady was so extremely innocent that she frequently 
made mistakes about the change, hardly knowing one 
coin from another ; but the mistakes usually happened to 
be in her own favour. One year Butler told her that she 


1885 had lost none of her beauty, and she rejoined that there 
* ^^ were few " tanto buoni e carini e gen till come Lei." 

She and Butler once had a theological discussion. 
She thought that every one, sensible or otherwise, was of 
the same religion. Butler objected that this was not so, 
that some, for instance, were Turks. 

" £ Turco Lei ? '* (Are you a Turk ?) inquired our 
fair friend with a look as though — well, anyhow there 
could be no harm in asking. But he was not thinking of 
making any addition to his harem at the time, so he 
excused himself and brought the interview to a close. 

This lady was to have been introduced into the second 
Italian book. He also intended to fall asleep and have 
a dream in front of the chapel that contains the figures 
representing Christ disputing with the Doctors. We 
had often wondered what the dispute was all about ; in 
his dream the Doctors were to propound this question : 

" Which is best — prose or poetry ? " 

And Christ, ticking off the alternatives on his fingers, 
as Italians do, was to be heard giving His decision : 

"Poetry, because there is less or it on a page." 

Early in September I joined Butler on the Sacro 
Monte, and we went down to Milan where we spent some 
hours in the Brera trying to settle a point which interested 
him intensely. He thought he had discovered portraits 
of Giovanni and Gentile Bellini among the heads of 
onlookers in various pictures, and had promised the 
editor of The Athenaeum to write about it in his paper. 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

19 Sepu 1885 — I thought matters were as I supposed, but 
did not like to write [to The Athenaeum] without making notes 
on the spot with the pictures before me ; for though I believe I 
may say no one has done much more to glorify memory than 
I have, I find my own memory most unglorifiable, and to stand 
in need of continual verification and correction. However, I am 
all right this time, and how the portraits in question can have 
escaped notice so long I cannot conceive. I spotted them at once 
fourteen years ago and thought everyone else must have done so. 
I have repeatedly seen them since and this time, approaching them 


very sceptically, still can see no escape from the conclusion I 1S85 
arrived at in the first instance, namelv that the two adjacent heads ^^^ 49 
in the two separate pictures in the brera are the same as the two 
in the Louvre picture of Giovanni and Gentile Bellini. 

After Milan we joined my mother and sisters at 
Vicenza and with them went to Venice, where Butler spent 
much time searching the pictures for more examples of 
the heads of the Bellini. He returned by way of Basel 
where he made some progress with the copy he had begun 
of the Holbein water-colour, " La Danse," and convinced 
the director from internal evidence of the manner in which 
the folds of drapery were drawn that it was an original 
Holbein and not a copy. He wrote to me : " So I have 
given the Basel Museum a Holbein as I mean to give the 
Louvre a Titian to-morrow." In his next letter, however 
(3rd October 1885), he wrote: "I could not give the 
Louvre a Titian, because as soon as I saw the picture I 
saw it was not by him." It was a picture of two heads 
which he thought represented the Bellini, and he interested 
the keeper in the subject. " We both think the picture 
rightly ascribed to Gentile Bellini." 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

1$ Clipfoiid's Inn, E.G. 

21 Oct, 1885 — No, I will not have any Persian cat; it is 
undertaking too much responsibility. I must have a cat whom I 
find homeless, wandering about the court, and to whom, therefore, 
I am under no obligation. There is a Clifford's Inn euphemism 
about cats which the laundresses use quite gravely : they say 
people come to this place ^to lose their cats." They mean that, 
when they have a cat they don't want to kill and don't know how 
to get rid of, they bring it here, drop it inside the railings of 
our grass-plot, and go away under the impression that they have 
been ^ losing " their cat. Well, this happens very frequently and 
I have already selected a dirty little drunken wretch of a kitten 
to be successor to my poor old cat. I don't suppose it drinks 
anything stronger than milk and water but then, you know, so 
much milk and water must be bad for a kitten that age — at any 
rate it looks as if it drank ; but it gives me the impression of being 
afiectionate, intelligent, and fond of mice, and I believe, if it had 
a home, it would become more respectable \ at any rate I will see 
how it works. 


1886 where we generally take our beer with our sandwiches when we 
Aet. 50 are in that neighboiu'hood, had been horribly murdered by a 
discharged soldier about ten days ago. The soldier murdered a 
customer, who was sitting before the Hre, and then murdered the 
landlord apparently without any reason. He was apprehended 

A man named Vianna de Lima has been writing a book in 
French, Les Thiories Transformistes de Lamarck^ Darwin^ it 
HaeckeL It is only just out, but the Museum had received it and 
got it for me before it has appeared in the catalogue. I was 
pleased to find a perfectly satisfactory and unsnubbing reference 
to Life and Habit as though to quite a standard book — so I set 
this ofF against The Athenaeum and Dr. Krause. 

I am getting on hst with my book which I shall call Luck 
or Cunning as the most important means of Organic Modification ? 
The short title will be Luck or Cunning ? which I think will do 
very well. 

Butler to his Father. 

5 Feb. 1886 — ^I send a few lines to say that I am trying for 
the Slade Professorship of Art at Cambridge, vacant by the 
resignation of Mr. Sidney Colvin. The post would exactly suit 
me, as residence is not required and 12 lectures a year is all that I 
should have to give. I don't see why I should not try for this ; 
so I went down [to Cambridge] yesterday and interviewed 
Kennedy and one or two more. I must not canvass, so I could 
not see any of the electors. I don't suppose I shall get it, but I 
am doing all I can. 

I went to The Athenaeum and said they had had my letter 
[about the Bellini heads] long; enough, that I was trying for this 
rrofessorship, that it would be an advantage to me to have my 
letter published somewhere at once, and that if they could not 
print it I should be glad if they would return it so that I could 
bring it before the public elsewhere. 

Butler's letter or article about the Bellini heads 
appeared in The Athenaeum^ 20th February 1886. His 
points were shortly as follows : 

There is in the Louvre a picture of two heads of 
young men which, on the authority of a passage in 
Fflibien, written in 1666 and quoted in the 1865 
catalogue of the Louvre, was stated to be the work of 
Gentile Bellini and to represent the painter and his 
brother Giovanni, Crowe and Cavalcaselle, in their 


History of P ainAng in North Italy (cd. 1871, vol. I. p. 134), 1886 
incline to the opinion that the picture is by Cariani. ^^ ^® 

Gentile Bellini died in 1501, aged 80, and Giovanni 
Bellini died in 1 5 1 6, aged 90.^ Cariani was born between 
these two dates, viz. in 15 10, and it is unlikely that he 
should have painted Giovanni and Gentile Bellini as young 

Fdlibien was born in 1 6 1 9 when there were still living 
many who had known Titian, for Titian had died only 
forty-three years before, viz. in 1576. Titian, who was 
99 when he died, had been a pupil of Giovanni. F61ibien 
makes his statement as though it were an ascertained fact, 
and he would be likely to hear anything that was known 
about the picture. 

Butler thought that Filibien was right, that the 
picture was painted by Gentile Bellini, and that it repre- 
sented Gentile and his brother Giovanni. 

He searched for other contemporary portraits of the 
two brothers. Gentile Bellini bequeathed to his younger 
brother, Giovanni, the sketch-book of their father, Jacopo, 
on condition that he should finish his great picture of '* St. 
Mark preaching at Alexandria." Giovanni finished his 
brother's picture and it hangs in the Brera at Milan. To 
the extreme left among the spectators Butler found two 
figures, one with the auburn-haired head of the elder of 
the two portraits in the Louvre, and next him — the head 
alone being shown — the black-haired man of the Louvre 
picture. The likenesses are strong and unmistakeable. 
It is probable that the portraits of the two brothers should 
appear among the portraits of men of the time with which 
the picture is crowded, and that they should appear as the 
two figures to the extreme left. 

Butler found the same two heads in Carpaccio's 
" Dispute of St. Stephen," also in the Brera ; they are the 
two penultimate bystanders to the right of the picture, 
and inmiediately to the right of a head something like 
Mr. Gladstone's. 

In the first fresco by Titian, as one enters the Scuola 

^ Some of the date* here quoted are given differently in tome of the authorities, 
but the differences tre not great enough to affect Butler's argument. 


1886 di S. Antonio at Padua on the right, are two heads — a 
Act 50 yelloWi-red-haired man and a black-haired man — ^which 
might be portraits of the Bellini, but they are not distinct 
enough for one to feel very sure about them. 

Butler's friend and fellow art-student, Thomas Ballard, 
afterwards pointed out that two heads in " The Circum- 
cision," dated 1 500, by Marco Marziale, in our National 
Gallery are also strongly suggestive of the two heads in 
the Louvre. They are the two heads on the right of the 
central group, one of them partly hidden by the hood of 
the priest. One is that of a yellow-red-haired, fair- 
complexioned, square-faced man with a rather straight 
nose ; the other is an oval- faced, black -haired, dark- 
complexioned man with a nose the bridge of which is 
convex. They are badly painted, but the onerous con- 
ditions, on the combined fulfilment of which we may 
suspect that the portraits of the Bellini are intended, are 
all complied with, namely : the picture is Venetian, 
painted between 1460 and 1520, and gives us two men 
side by side with all the characteristics which we have 
reason to believe were those of Giovanni and Gentile 

Butler had searched all the possible pictures in Venice, 
and in every likely place, for further examples of these 
two heads but had found no more. He considered, 
however, that what he had found was in support of the 
old belief held by Filibien, and against the view of Crowe 
and Cavalcaselle, of whom an eminent French authority 
said to him : *^ lis ont d6baptis£ la moiti6 des tableaux 
d'Europe.'* The authorities at the Louvre, in their 
catalogue of 1887, gave the picture to Gentile Bellini as 
painter, and on the jrame it is still attributed to him, but 
it is not said to be portraits of the two brothers, it is called 
** Portraits d*hommes," at least it was so when last I was 
in the Louvre, that is in May 1914. 

No one said anything in reply to his letter in The 
Athenaeum. He sent a copy of the paper to the director 
of the Louvre. One result of the delay in publishing the 
letter was that it appeared just in time for him to send a 
copy of the paper to the electors for the Slade Professor- 


ship. The testimonials he sent were from Eyre Crowe, i8t6 
Esq., A.R. A. ; G. K. Fortescue, Esq., Superintendent of ^^' ^^ 
the Reading Room, British Museum ; Richard Garnett, 
Esq., LL.D., late Superintendent of the Reading Room, 
British Museum ; A. C. Gow, Esq., A.R.A. ; T. 
Heatherley, Esq,, of the School of Art, 79 Newman 
Street, Ojcford Street ; the Rev. B, H. Kennedy, D.D., 
Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge ; 
H. S. Marks, Esq., R.A. ; and the Right Honourable 
W. T. Marriott, M.P. They were all ot the usual kind, 
speaking highly of his artistic and literary attainments, 
saying the writers had known him some time and con- 
ridercd him eminently fitted for the post. With the 
testimonials he sent a list of his published works. 

Butler to his Father. 

10 March 1886 — You will doubtless have seen in this 
morning's papers that Middleton has got the Professorship. 
Practically he was, so far as I have been able to make out, in the 
field before the late Professor resigned, and was his candidate, so 
to speak. I am glad I stood and, having stood, am, of course, 
sorry not to have got the post ; still there are consolatory con- 
siderations which are not without healing value, and I had so 
fully discounted not getting it, after what I heard the Editor of 
The Athenaeum had said and what Garnett said, that I am not put 
much out of my reckoning and, indeed, should have been very 
much surprised if anyone but Middleton had been appointed. 
Nevertheless, I feel sure that I shall gain by having stood. 

One cannot help wondering how it would have 
worked if Butler had been elected Slade Professor. His 
lectures woidd have been delightful to attend and to read 
afterwards, and, with his immense knowledge and critical 
insight, full of instruction, good sense, and amusement. 
But I doubt whether he would have given complete satis- 
faction to the authorities, A University is hardly the 
most favourable soil in which to sow those seeds which, 
when writing about art, he scattered freely in his Note- 
Books, in Alps and Sanctuaries^ in Ex VotOy and up and 
down others of his books. 



Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

iSS6 15 March 1886 — I have had many very kind letters about my 

Aet. 50 failure and really believe a good many people think I ought to 
have had it. I am afraid I believe that the whole thing was cut 
and dried before Colvin resigned. 

I thought it would be well to come up smiling, so I got 
The Athinaium last week to announce my new book Luck or 
Cunning ? which they did. I was pleased to see that they put 
it well up among their Science news, not among the Literary 
events. This, as I have no doubt the editor knows, will hie 
displeasing to Romanes & Co. The book is well advanced and 
is, I believe, among the very best I have done. . . . 

I have found a new amusement. My poor old laundress and 
her husband are so deplorably bronchitic and ill that they cannot 
do what ought to be done to my rooms, so I have shifted piano, 
table and everything, cleaned my windows, swept every corner of 
every room with tea-leaves, and done the thing as it ought to be 
done. I found it hard work ; it made me perspire freely, notwith- 
standing the cold, and did me a great deal of good ; besides I am 
now really clean and tidy instead of being a good deal off clean — 
to put it mildly. I think I shall do it again. 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

24 March 1886 — My kittens came and alas, went ! One 
after another died for want of sufficient nourishment. This being 
their poor mother's first confinement, she had forgotten to make 
the milk necessary to feed her offspring, and so one after another 
starved in spite of all I could do. I had fpund homes for three out 
of the foiu" and was very sorry to lose them. They were ex- 
ceedingly pretty while they lasted, but none of them lived as long 
as foiu* days. The cat frequently came and told me that things 
were not going right, and I soon found out what the matter was, 
but I could not do anything. 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

2 April 1886 — I congratulate May [Miss Butler] on making to 
herself friends of theMammon of Righteousness, as poor Miss Savage 
once said to me when I had been in a short correspondence with 
the Bishop of Carlisle. By the way, who was it said of Mr. 
Gladstone that he was ^'a good man in the very worst sense of the 
words*'? . • • 


Glad Uncle John is better. Did you ever read Philip Fan iSt6 
Artevelde ? And now I see Robert bridges has been bringing ^^ 5<> 
out some poems. The eictracts they give in the papers seem aU 
right — quite as good as other poetry ; but I cannot read poetry 
and, indeed, read as little of anything as I can. 

Uncle John was John Worsley, the younger brother of 
Butler's mother. He was an eminent conveyancer and 
practised locally at Clifton. Although ** better " early in 
April he only survived for a few weeks, and, like the 
aunt and godmother of Narcissus, '^ died richer than was 
thought/* for he was of a saving nature. According to a 
note made by Butler, he never would wear a night-^irt ; 
he said it was an unnecessary expense, and slept naked. I 
met him one afternoon at tea at Reginald Worsley's. He 
remembered Mendelssohn, whom he had seen, probably at 
the Taylors*, and who, he said, was " a dapper little man.** 
He sang us an absurd, old-fashioned song with a refrain, 
" Vastly proper ; vastly proper," or vasdy something 
different at the end of each of its numerous verses. We 
all thought it vasdy funny and laughed very much at it. 
I am afraid we also laughed a littlje at Uncle John. 

At the beginning of May, Butler went to Clifton 
to attend Unde John*s funeral. This was one of the 
occasions for wearing the high hat which appears in the 
comer in the picture of his room (ante, I. p. 246). While 
at Clifton, he took the opportunity of calling on his Aunt 
Sarah Worsley, Unde John's sister, and reported to 
Wilderhope that he had done so, hoping he might have 
succeeded in pleasing his father and sisters, especially as 
at the funeral he was representing his father, who paid the 
expenses of his journey to Clifton and back, being too 
feeble to go in person. His report was, however, received 
in silence, and he wrote that he was beginning to fear 
that any credit he might have won by attending the 
funeral was not of a lasting nature. 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

12 May 1886 — Perhaps I should not have begun to fear this 
if I did not find that in whatever quarter I may win a leaf or 

36 AUNT SARAH xxy 

1886 two of laurels they are of a kind that tarnishes with deplorable 
Act. 50 rapidity. If I were to compare nnrself to a stock or railway 
share, 1 should say I was a security of a very fluctuating character, 
never more likely to enter upon a perioa of prolonged flatness 
than immediately after being buoyant ; but this, I suppose, is 
the common experience of mankind and, in depression, I must 
console myself by reflecting that, for aught I know, I may be 
again upon the verge of inflation. 

Aunt Sarah, for example ; she had a sudden and disastrous 
fall in my market during the ten minutes or so that I was with 
her. She was warm in her praises of Mr. Gladstone and abused 
'^ that wretched Times " for saying he did what he did merely from 
a wish to remain in office, etc. etc. ^ Why, it is contrary to the 
whole spirit and tenour of his life : a more upright^ honourabU^ 
conscientious^ truly high-minded statesman never existed, and to 
{ suppose — '* etc. etc. 

If Aunt Sarahs at par are 100, they had stood at about 75 
when I began my visit ; when I ended it they had dropped to 
15 or 14I. Besides, she took occasion to impart to me her 
reminiscences of my childhood of which, it seems, my conceit 
had been the feature that had made the deepest impression upon 
her. I gathered moreover that she shared the common, but 
absurd, opinion according to which ''the child is &ther of the 
man " (just as if everyone did not know that it is the other way 
on) ana, altogether, I was not so glad that I had had ''a little 
sight of Aunt Sarah " as you say you are on my behalf. Do you 
know, if anything were to happen to Uncle Sam (which I hope 
may not be the case for many years) I think I should have such 
a severe cold as to be unable to venture on a railway joiu-ney. 
But enough of this nonsense. 

What do you mean by saying my &ther is ''about as well as 
usual again " r I have not heard of his being imwell, nor did I 
gather from his letters that he had been in any way more amiss 
than usual. What is he thinking of doing about his summer 
outing? . . . 

When you say you think Aunt Sarah " will have been " glad 
I called on her, do you mean that, though not glad at present, 
there will come a time, etc. etc. ? I greatly doubt whether she 
will ever be more glad than she is at present. 

Butler made a note on the not very successfully pressed 
copy of the above : " This stupid letter can be read quite 
easily by being held up to the light." I do not think it 
is a ** stupid letter," but I do think it was an injudicious 
letter. Many of his letters to his sisters at this time 


contain passages complaining that they did not keep him xSS6 
properly informed as to his father's health. This letter, ^^ ^^ 
and especially the part about Mr. Gladstone, was his way 
of saying to his sister, "If you won't tell me what I want 
to know, then I shall only tell you things you don't 
want to hear." For his father and sisters though they 
approved of Aunt Sarah yet, being Conservative, dis- 
approved of her politics. There was no stopping him 
from writing such letters when he was in the mood ; 
and he excused himself by saying that his sisters must 
see they were written in run. I do not think it likely 
that his sisters saw anything in them beyond deplorable 
flippancy and irreverence. 

The letter contains so much about stocks and shares 
pardy because irir mind' was fun of iVimjj«j. We had ' 
made suflScient progress to haye'^Trhcarsal of some of 
it on the iSth of May in Gogin's studio in King Henry's 
Road^ foHowed by supper in the studio of another painter, 
Joseph Ben well Clarke on the floor below. " Butljcr's 
cousin, Reginald Wqrsley^ who knew many violinists and 
other players, got the band together for us and helped 
us in copying the parts. He and Gogin rigged up the 
desks and lights. We had three flrst violins, two second, 
one te n o r, one 'cello, and one double bass, one oboe, one 
bassoon, one horn, and a pair of kettle-drums. Mr. 
Henry Ellis Wooldridge kindly sang some of the songs 
for us, and I conducted. Everything went oflF quite 
smoothly ; the perfbf mers expressed themselves as much 
pleased with the music and so did the few friends we had 
invited to come and listen. We learnt a great deal from 
hearing our music and should have liked to have more 
rehear^s. Butler wrote to Miss Butler : ** A tame 
oratorio is a delightful pet, but he is something like a 
tame elephant and would eat Jones and me out of house 
and home if we did not keep him in his proper place." 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

3 June 1886 — Jones and I went to a Philharmonic concert 
last night [cf. The NeU-Books of Samuel Butler^ p. 132]. We 


i8S6 went to the shilling places behind the orchestra and sat close to 
Act. 50 the drums, so we could see each instrument and hear what it was 
about. I do wish people would not make their movements so 
long. We have resolved that all our movements shall be of 
reasonable length. I am afraid I liked our own music a great 
deal better than Beethoven's ; but then, of coiu'se, if we had been 
devoted admirers of Beethoven we should have founded ourselves 
on him and imitated him. Narcissuses successor is to be called 
Ulysses and is this time a serious work, dealing with the wanderings 
of the real Ulysses and treating the subject much as Hercules or 
Semeli were treated. We think we could get some sailor choruses 
and some Circe and pig choruses and the Sirens, and then 
Penelope and her loom all afford scope. I made up my mind 
about it when I read Charles Lamb's translation of parts of the 
Odyssey in Ainger's book, but please don't say anything about it. 

; In spite of this, however, when, one day in the 

' British Museum, Mr. Garnett asked him what we thought 
J of doing when we had finished Nanissus^ Futlef replied 
i that we might, perhaps, next write an oratorio on some 
,^ sacred subject. The urbane and scholarly Mr. (jarnett 
. looked proper and asked whether we had any particular 
I subject in view. Butler replied, demurely, that we were 
thinking of **The Woman Taken in Adnkery.'* His 
note concludes with these words : *• Garnett did not quite 
like this." 

I find among Butler's letters one from Eyre Crowe, 
A.R.A., dated 3rd June 1886, thanking him for having 
written in reply to a request for any reminiscences he 
might have of F. S. Cary, in whose School of Art he 
had studied. At first I thought Eyre Crowe might have 
wanted Butler's reminiscences for some book of Memoirs 
he was writing, but he does not appear to have published 
one. It may be that he wanted it for a book by some one 
else and, if so, Butler's letter may have been published 
therein. He kept no copy, and if any reader of this book 
should know of its publication I should be glad to hear 
of it. 

I do not think that Butler had hitherto attended any 
of the Shrewsbury School dinners, but he went this year 
and made this note about it : 




The Shrewsbury Dinner jr 

This came off the week before last, and I was there; the iSt6 
Archbishop of York was in the chair, next to whom sat Lord Act. 50 
Cranbrook on the one hand and Kennedy on the other. I spoke 
to Kennedy before dinner, and fomid him surly, and, as it 
appeared to me, anxious to avoid me — which I no sooner per-* 
- ceived than I avoided him. I thanked him genially for the 
testimonial he had given me when I was trying for the Slade 
Professorship (which however seemed to me to say ^'I have been 
asked to give this man a testimonial and have had to do it, but I 
will say no more than I can help "} and laughingly said that my 
candidature had not come to very much. '' No,'' said he, drily, 
and with the intake and outmake of breath which used to 
characterise him when I knew him years ago. So I left him, I 
hope without showing that I did not think his manner over civil. 

I liked the Archbishop of York ; Lord Cranbrook seemed a | 
good fellow ; Moss was civil to me ; Sir Henry Drvden made 1 
the best speech and the one which his audience evidently liked 1 
best. Canon Hornby looked good \ so did Archdeacon Hamilton. ^ 
There was a good old clergyman opposite me, a pupil of my 
grandfather's, who said, '' Butler (meaning my grandfather) was as 
good a man as ever lived," and evidently meant what he said. 

Why should I, knowing that I do not particularly like these 
people nor they me, wh]^ should I, who never liked mv school 
nor got much good from it, go and pay a guinea for a bad dinner, 
and eat and drink what it takes me a whole day to recover from ? 
It does not seem a very sensible thing to do, and yet people tell ^ 
me I ought to go. I wish I knew whether they are right or I, 
who think the whole thing a nuisance. I think that, considering 
the Ishmaelitish line which I have been led and driven to take in 
literature, the less T vdlittire into the ■enemy's camp the better. 
They say that the more I take the ishmaelitish line the more 
incumbent it is upon me to do the correctest of correct things 
occasionally, when time and the occasion serve. I beUeve they 
are right, and this is why I went, and shall hope to go upon a 
future occasion, but like it I do not. [July 31, 1886.] 

P.S. — I have never missed a single one of these functions 
since writing the above. [Feb. i, 1898.] 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

12 jfugust 1886 — ^I am to go presently to poor Robert's 
funeral at the Tower Hamlets. Mrs. Doncaster is in a deplorable 
and most depressing state with an awfiil cough and only fit for 



i8S6 bed, but she will insist on coming out. Happily Robert had 
Act. 50 insured his life (in one of those in&mous companies which — well, 
he had insured his life) and, having paid 4d. a week punctuaUy for 
fourteen years (or about ^^12 ; 15 : o without counting interest), 
was entitled to receive ^9:4:0 on his death, which Mrs. 
Doncaster has got and is not therefore in difficulties about funeral 
expenses and mourning. Mrs. Doncaster had insured her life also 
in the same way, but about five years ago I stopped her from 
continuing it, as they would not return a hal^nnv if the policy 
was aUowed to go thirteen weeks in arrear. I shall now see that 
she puts by sixpence a week in the post office savings bank. 

Robert's funeral provided another occasion for Butler 
to wear his high hat. 

A few days later he started for the Ginton Ticino. 
This was the occasion when, at Faido, he met the Bishop 
of Chichester and one of the canons and showed them 
where to find Woodsia and Alternifolium, as is related in 
The Note-Books of Samuel Butkr^ 191 2, p. 271. He 
moved to the Sacro Monte, Varese, where I joined him in 
September. Wc went to Castiglione d* Olona to see the 
fi-escoes and, while staying at Mendrisio, went over to 
Ligornetto, where we had been to spend the day with 
Signor Vela {Alps and Sanctuaries : *' A Day at the 
Gintine "). We were only about a week together, because 
I had to spend some of my holiday with my mother at 
Baden Baden and return to the office. On his return 
Butler wrote to his sister. 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

15 Cliffohd's Inn, B.C. 

2 Oct. 1886 — Thank you for yours received this morning. 
I am so glad you had a fine afternoon for your foundation-laying, 
and that the bishop was nice. I think bishops generally are 
rather nice. I know I am terribly afraid of an archdeacon or, I 
may say, of a dean, but am generally set quite at my ease by a 
bishop— when I have anything to clo with one, which is not 
often. I stuck to my plan, spent Tuesday and Wednesday 
copying Holbein in Basel and, leaving Wednesday night, got 
here on Thursday evening. I found my kittens well and strong 
but as wild as litde tigers through not having been habitually 
caressed. They spat and swore and altogether behaved abomin- 


ably. Now, though onty 48 hours have gone by, they are quite 1S86 
tame and very pretty. . . • Act 50 

I am to lecture at the Working Men's College in December 
on The Principle Underlying the Subdivision of the Organic 
World into Animal and Vegetable. I do not like it, but it is 
good for me to learn the use of my tongue. I shaU do as I did 
before and speak my lecture, not resul it. 

I am much better but have never been free of my book \^Luci 
#r Cunning ?j which is now nearly printed. I have still to write 
the last chapter, some fourteen or fifteen pages ; this I hope to 
do next week, and then nothing remains but dbe index. 

The lecture was postponed and delivered in March 

Ijick or Cunning f was to be dedicated to the memory 
of Alfred Tylor ; Butler therefore sent to Mrs. Tylor his 
proposed preface and other preliminary matter of the 
book for her to consider it and show it to any one she 
might wish to consult. 

Butler to Mrs. Tylor. 

17 Oct. 1886 — ^When I said it [Luck 9r Cunning?^ was 
polemical I only referred to Mr. Darwin, Professor Huxley, Mr. 
Romanes and others. There is not the slightest fear of any 
religious controversy in connection with the book, any more 
than with Lift and Habit or Evolution Old and New i on the 
contrary its very essence is to insist on the omnipresence of a 
mind and intelligence throughout the universe to which no name 
can be so fittingly applied as God. Orthodox the book is not, 
religious I do verily believe and hope it is ; its whole scope is 
directed against the present mindless, mechanical, materialistic 
view of nature and, though I know very well that churchmen 
will not like it, I am sure they will like it much better than they 
like the opinions now most generally accepted, and that they will 
like it much better than men of science will. 

However I send what I propose to say, and will call on you at 
Carshalton either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday as you may 
2q>point, say at about 3.30 and return by the 4.49 train from 
Cslrshalton. I can then hear your views by word of mouth and 
answer any further questions you may want to ask. 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

25 Oct. 1886 — I heard a story of poor Mr. Tylor himself the 
other day. He was one of the gendest and kindest of men but 


i8S6 he dearly loved a joke. Some doctor was dining with him just 
A^ 50 before starting for the West of Africa and, as the gentlemen were 
leaving the dining-room, Mr. Tylor went up to this man, took 
him aside confidentially and said : ^ If you happen, out there, to 
come across a black man with anv white spots on his body, Aill 
him and send him to me: I'U give any money for him, and 
then retired chuckling. 

On the loth November 1886, Butler received the 
first copy of Luck or Cunning as the Main Means of 
Modification ? An attempt to throw additional light upon 
the late Mr. Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. 
The dedication runs thus : 

To the Memory of the late Alfred Tylor, Esq., F.G.S. etc., 
whose experiments at Carshalton in the years 1883 and 1884 
established that plants also are endowed with intelligential and 
volitional Acuities, this Book begun at his instigation is gratefully 
and affectionately inscribed. 

In Luck or Cunning? Butler continued to insist first 
upon the substantial identity between heredity and memory, 
and secondly upon the importance of design as a factor of 
organic development. 

Chapter i. is introductory and contains remarks about 
Life and Habit^ Evolution Old and New^ and Unconscious 

Chapters ii. and iii. contain a reply to Mr. Herbert 
Spencer, who had written in The Athenaeum (ante, I. p. 
410), claiming to have been among the forestallers of Life 
and Habity a claim which Butler saw no reason to admit. 

Chapter iv. is taken almost entirely from his *' Remarks 
on Mr. G. J. Romanes* Mental Evolution in AnimalSy* 
which formed part of his book of Selections (1884). It 
deals also with Illustrations of Unconscious Memory in 
Disease including a Theory of Alternatives^ by Charles 
Creighton, M.D. (London : H. K. Lewis, 1886), a book 
based avowedly on Hering's Essay on Memory, Dr. 
Creighton not knowing of Life and Habit at the time he 
wrote his book. 

Chapters v. and vi. discuss whether Luck or Cunning 
is the fitter to be insisted on. 


Mr. Charles Darwin, . • . Mr. A. R. Wallace, and their iSt6 
supporters are the apostles of luck, while Erasmus Darwin and Act. 50 
Lamarck, followed, more or less timidlv, by the GeofFrojrs and by 
Mr. Herbert Spencer, and, very timidly indeed, by the Duke of 
Argyll, preach cunning as the most important means of organic 

Chapter vii. is about Mr. Herbert Spencer*s articles 
•* The Factors of Organic Evolution." Chapters viii. and 
ix. are headed "Property, Common Sense, and Protoplasm." 
Chapter x. " The Attempt to Eliminate Mind." Chapter 
xi. " The Way of Escape." In this chapter, as in others of 
the book, will be found passages elaborated from Butler's 
letter to my brother Edward (Nov. 1884) ; he used this 
letter for Luck or Cunning ? much as he had used his letter 
to T. W. G. Butler for Ufe and Habit. 

Chapter xii. "Why Darwin's Variations were Acci- 

Chapters xiii. to xvii. deal with Charles Darwin's clum 
to be the originator of the theory of descent with modifica- 
tion ; also with Grant Allen's Charles Darwin and with 
Professor Ray Lankester and Lamarck. 

Chapter xviii. contains what can be said in favour of 
Charles Darwin. Here are a few quotations : 

[Though], however, it is not likely that posterity will consider 
him as a man of transcendant intellectual power, he must be ^ 
admitted to have been richlv endowed with a much more valuable 
quality than either originality or literary ability — I mean with 
savoir (aire. . . . 

Greatness, indeed, of the highest kind — that of one who is 
without fear and without reproach — will not ultimately be allowed 
him, but greatness of a rare kind can only be denied him by those 
whose judgement is perverted by temper or personal ill-will. • • • 

Buffbn planted, Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck watered, but 
it was Mr. Darwin who said ^^That fruit is ripe*' and shook it 
into his lap. 

Mr. Darwin will have a crown sufficient for any ordinary . 
brow remaining in the achievement of having done more than 
any other writer, living or dead, to popularise evolution. 

The concluding chapter contains a r6sum6 of Alfred 
Tylor's paper, part of which was read at the Linnean 
Society in December 1884. 


1887. 1888— Part I 

1SS7 Canon Butler by his will did as he had threatened and 
^^^ ^^ tied up the greater part of what he left his son ; but, 
except that this prevented Butler from dealing with the 
principal so tied up, it did not inflict on him any other 
injury and, as regards income, he found himself comfort- 
ably off once more. He repaid all the money he had 
borrowed during his financial difficulties of the preceding 
ten years, and was now able to continue the allowance to 
PauU without feeling it anything of a drag. He also 
began to look round for some one to come and help in his 

Mrs. Doncaster, his laundress, had a friend, Mrs. 
Cathie, whose nephew, Alfred Emery Cathie, a young 
man just over twenty-two, was in want of a job. Butler 
took him on for a time to see how it worked. His 
business was partly to replace Robert, and partly to act as 
clerk, valet, and general attendant ; he was also, as a live 
young thing about the place, a cheerful addition to 
Clifford's Inn. They got on so well together that Alfred 
remained permanendy. 

I had returned to the office of Sir Thomas Paine and 
was working there as managing clerk. Butler proposed that 
I should give up trying to succeed as a solicitor, in which 
profession my relations and friends had frequently given 
me to understand that I was not doing remarkably well, 
and that I should devote myself to helping him with his 
music and his writing, he giving me the amount I was 



I J ■ ■ I. 

.5; *- r^-. 

\ * * ''^.~ 

.•■; •• ^^^fr -«Ms:"»x'-JW»«t«/^*» —«'■»'■■•'>'■•■* -»»^-*»«p. 

'" \ : 


, \ ' . > 

•;t his stv\ , , 

-n him J* V • r 

v.s c»r the pre. . . 
• .- the allowance 

^ L '•»*'.■ and help :.; : 

'-. . i a friend, iv* 

. •' (.\rhie, a )^> 

^ - . * i:{ a \oh. :' 

■ vv it Wv.-r'v. ; 
• .••■'>♦<•• 

ti \ •": ' .i aduiti' • 
.-.•.'. .' . I'lcr that / 

' ■• ' i :i^:M'i;- 1 • 
rt.. lV..ricr p^.^p'^^ i 
.' as ;i ^' iicitor, :!^ ■ 
.^is i i.i jVcquenr.v • 
: • !*..: ion .irk :'\ • 
♦'":•;.:£ h'.ns A" *. 
' rx ':»c aw. ^uTit 1 .' 



receiving from the office, viz. : j^200 a* year. I accepted 1887 
his proposal and gave up the law. We hoped that my ^^ ^* 
mother would not be so much displeased with me as to 
discontinue the ^100 a year she had been allomng me. 
She, however, was very much displeased and did discon- 
tinue the allowance. For it now appeared that I had 
been doing remarkably well at the law, and it was such a 
pity to throw it all up. In dme, however, she relented 
as to the allowance ; though whether she returned to the 
view that nature had not intended me for business I never 
ascertained. From this time, therefore, until the death 
of my mother in 1900, I received j^200 a year from 
Butler ; no other alteration took place in the relations 
between us except that, as I was now free, we were more 

The payments he made to Alfred and to me were the 
only extra expenses he undertook upon the death of his 
father, unless his payments to Pauli can be considered 
extra expenses, and the increase in his income was in his 
opinion sufficient to justify them. He bought himself a 
new wash-hand basin, but made no other change in his 
way of living except that, as we shall see presently, he 
also bought himself a new pair of hair-brushes. He wore 
out his hur-brushes rather quickly, because he had the 
habit of brushing his hair every night one hundred strokes, 
fifty each side. 

Butler io Miss Butler 

27 March 1887 — I have got the lecture over. I beh'eve it 
was a great success, and Jones and Gogin who were there were 
very much pleased with its reception. L of course, could not 
form much of an opinion for I read my lecture and was unable 
to look the people in the face as I did when speaking. I think 
I shall speak in future, but was afraid of overlooking points and 
so wrote it out. I am to deliver it again in the autumn at 
another similar institution and shall then, I think, speak it. 

This was the lecture to the Working Men*s G^llege, 
on the subdivision of the organic world into animal and 
vegetable, the delivery of which was postponed from 
December 1886. 



1SS7 In April he found a picture in a second-hand shop, 

^^' 5' ** Joseph being Robed by Order -of FhataoTT," which he 
thought looked like an-ciriy Re mb r a ndt (The Note-Books 
of Samuet Butkr^- P- ^ 5 ^)- I^ ^^^^ marked only 40s., so 
he got Gogin to look at it and, on having his opinion 
supported, bought it, and always derived much pleasure 
from thinking that he possessed a Rembrandt in addition 
to his portrait of the Countess of Egremont by Sir Joshua. 
He also had a portrait of a woman by Jacob Gerritsz 

* Cuyp, the father of Albert Cuyp, the animal painter. 
This, and the Reynolds, were given to his solicitor, Russell 
Cooke. ^ After his death I was staying with my Friend Dr. 

* King Martyn at Bath, and observed in his dining-room a 
pair of pictures, a man and a woman ; at first I took 
the portrait of the woman to be Butler's Cuyp. Either 
Dr. Martyn's or Butler's was a copy or a replica. Each 
of Dr. Martyn's pictures had a paper on it at the back 
stating that they were painted by J. G. Cuyp and repre- 
sented Reyms of Overstrand, aet. thirty, 1637, and his wife. 
The wife was a BuUen of the family of Aiine BuUen, and 
Dr. Martyn had the pictures because the Bullens come 
into his pedigree. 

Later in 1887 Butler added to his collection two 
sketches by Frank Huddlestone Potter (i 845-1 887), 
whom he had known at Heatherley's and whose work he 
admired. Potter had recently died, and in the winter an 
exhibition of his pictures was held at which Butler bought 
the sketches. There are two pictures by Potter in the 
Tate Gallery. 

For Easter he went abroad with Gogin, visiting, 
among other places, Ypres, where occurred the meeting 
with the two English barristers and the Italian gentle- 
man described in The Note- Books of Samuel Butler^ 
p. 255. -' 

' Butler had approached the Editor of The Athenaeum 
(MacColl) about the Bellini heads ; he now wrote to him 
about Holbein's drawing **La Danse" at Basel. To 
this letter MacColl, on the advice of his art critic, made 
objections. Butler replied, complaining that he had been 
treated with much discourtesy, which he should allow to 



pass as on previous occasions ; but when it came to burk- XS87 
ing matter which afforded even a hope of adding to our ^^ ^* 
knowledge of such men as Holbein and Bellini, he was 
not disposed to submit. Here is the conclusion of his 
letter, and a note he added to the copy he kept : 

Buikr to the Editor of^^ The Athenaeum. 


13 April 1887 — The jfthenaeum attacked Ernvhon savagely 
(Ap. 20th 1872), it sneered at Life and Habit (Jan. 26th 1078) 
which it said was ^ too flighty to be of much real value," yet by 
July 26 1879 these books had become ^ good reading," and it was 
only in the then new one that there were signs of declining power 
or ^bad workmanship." Now (Jan. 1887) The Athenaeum is 
anxious to pretend that it was among the first to give me 
encouragement. I have left the &cts sufficiently on record in my 
commonplace book, and have no wish to go into them here ; but 
I maybe allowed to conclude that The Athenaeum is not infallible. 

[This is a very injudicious letter but I have no wish to pose as 
a monster of sound judgement. I do not think MacCoU disliked or 
dislikes me ; but he was not a pleasant person to deal with, and 
often gave my books to reviewers who, he perfecdy well knew, 
would skte them of set purpose. — S. B., Feb. 21st 1902.] 

Butler to Mrs. Heatherley. 

19 April 1887 — ^I am too heavily weighted already to be able 
to be of much service to your friend— or rather to Dr. AUbutt. 
I am exceedingly sorry for him and, though I had not heard of his 
book, have little doubt that it says a great deal that ought to be 
said and which people are afraid to say. 

I am aware that the sexual question is of more practical im- 
portance than any such as Christianity can be ; at the same time 
till Christianity is dead and buried we shall never get the burning 
questions that lie beyond approached in a spirit of sobriety and 
commonsense. It is therefore against superstition, and more 
especially the Christian superstition, that I have fought to the best 
of mv ability. 

But I have TOt to take the world as I find it and must not make 
mjrself impossible. At present I have the religious world bitterly 
hostile ; the scientific and literary world are even more hostile 
than the religious ; if to this hostility I am to add that of the 
respectable world, I may as well shut up shop at once for all the 
use I shall be to myself or anyone else. Let me get a really 



1887 strong position like that of Ruskin, Carlyle, or even Matthew 

AeL 5z Axnold, and I may be relied upon to give the public to the full 

as much as they will endure without rebellion ; but I will not 

jeopardise what I believe to be a fair chance of future usefulness 

by trying to do more than I can. 

I have spoken with great plainness, but plain speaking saves 
trouble all round. I do not know whether it is possible for Dr. 
Allbutt to do as I should suggest, but, if I were his adviser, I 
should advise him to apologise at once, say the thing was done 
without full privity on his part, promise not to offend again and 
be careful not to sail so near the wind in future. I will mention 
Dr. AUbutt's case to my own doctor, Dr. Dudgeon, who, as a 
homoeopathist, is naturally more or less of a malcontent, but there 
I am afraid I must stop. I am sorry I cannot be of more use. 

\ Dr. Butler, having need of a good geography and 

atlas for use at Shrewsbury school and finding none, had, 

like a sensible man, supplied his own want. For many 

years the work brought in a handsome income to the 

author and to his son. On Gmon Butler's death, the 

' publishers ¥n'Ote to Butler for his opinion as to whether 

I the book, the sales of which had recently declined, should 

1 be re-issued or not. 


Butler to Messrs. Longmans^ Green 6? Co. 

8 June 1887 — I cannot see my way to setting the book to 
music, nor yet painting it, nor connecting it in any way with 
evolution, nor making any fun out of it all ; should an idea 
cross my mind within the next few days I will let you know, 
but I think this so improbable that if you do not hear from me 
within a week I will ask you to consider me as agreeing with 
yourselves that the best thing to do is to let the stock sell out 
and not reproduce the work. 

When Dr. Butler left Shrewsbury to become Bishop of 
Lichfield he was presented with a service of silver plate 
made by Storr & Mortimer of Bond Street. Canon 
Butler by his will left this to Butler. 

My Grandfather's Plate 

It cost altogether nearly a thousand pounds, but I did not want 
it and, though 1 could only get old silver price for it, I determined 


to sell it. I took it to a silversmith's in the Strand, or rather got 1SS7 
them to send some one to see it ; he said it was very good, but of Act. 51 
a period (1836} now out of fashion. 

^ There is one especial test of respectability in plate," he 
remarked ; ^ we seldom find it but, when we do, we consider it the 
most correct thing and the best guarantee of solid prosperity that 
anything in plate can give. When there is a silver venison dish 
we know that the plate comes from an owner of the very highest 

My grandfather had a silver venison dish. 

On the night the plate came to Clifford's Inn, the porter and I 
unpacked it in the cellar where we put it for safety. The cellar 
was dark and, as we only had one candle, we must have looked like 
a couple of burglars counting our swag. I, particularly, had a 
guilty feeling b<^use a good many people told me I ought not to 
sell the plate at all — they said I ought to keep it, out of respect 
for my grand&ther's memory. People will talk like this and it 
made me uncomfortable, though I did not mean paying any 
attention to what they said. 

While we were unpacking it, or repacking it, I forget which, 
I saw a dilapidated old book lying on the knifeboard with a 
blacking bottle on it and an old tin tallow candlestick. I knew 
there was something in the book that made it go in counterpoint 
with the surroundings, so I took the blacking bottle off it and 
opened it. It was an early copy of my grandfather's jftlas of 
Anciint and Modern Geography. I dare say it may be thought 
that I invented this ; I can only say that 1 did not, and indeed 
could not invent anything so perfectly in keeping with itself. 
But it frightened me. 

P.S. [Added after the publication of The Life and Letters of 
Dr. Samuel Butler,"] When I wrote the above, I knew nothing 
about my grandfather except that he had been a great schoof 
master — ^and I did not like schoolmasters ; and then a bishop— 
and I did not like bishops ; and that he was supposed to be like 
my father. Of course when I got hold of his papers, I saw 
what he was and fell head over ears in love with him. Had 
I known then what I know now, I do not think I could have 
sold the plate ; but it was much better that I should, and I 
have raised a faj: better monument to his memory than ever the 
plate was. 

Under his father's will Butler became entitled for life 
to a farm at Harnage near Shrewsbury, and the looking 
after this provided him with much employment of a new 
and interesting nature. At Harnage Dr. Butler used to 
raise meat and vegetables for' the boys at Shrewsbury 


1SS7 School, and by good management this was one of the 
^^ ^' sources of the fortune he made. 

By the joint operation of his grandfather's mil and the 
subsequent dealings with the property Butler, on the 
death of his father, became absolutely entitled in possession, 
subject to the mortgage he had made, to the Whitehall 
fields which, as pasture, had been bringing in only a nominal 
rent, but were now ripe for building. Much of his time 
was taken up in consulting with surveyors and solicitors 
as to the best way of developing the property. He paid 
ofF the mortgage, and a scheme for development which 
should interfere as little as possible with the mansion house, 
in which his cousin Archdeacon Lloyd lived, was agreed 
upon. Roads were made and the land was divided into 
plots which were gradually sold. 

In June we stayed for a few days at Church Stretton 
and went over to Shrewsbury, partly to see about the sale 
of this land and partly to be present at the School concert, 
where, by the kindness of the headmaster and Mr. Hay, 
the music master, some of the music of Narcissus was 
performed by the boys. It appears from the letter to Mr. 
Hay of 14th July 1887 (post) that we must have left some 
of our music behind. 

Not long afterwards we had another opportunity of 
hearing our music, when most of the choruses of Narcissus 
were sung through at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 
Layton by friends of theirs with a piano accompaniment. 
Mr. Thomas Layton was a partner of Sir Thomas Paine 
to whom I had been articled. 

On our way back from Shrewsbury we spent a day at 
Kenilworth, and Butler took me into the church and 
showed me the family monuments with their epitaphs in 
the ** Butlers' Pantry." He also introduced me to Mrs. 
Henry Butler, the widow of Dr. Butler's cousin, William 
Henry Butler (ante, I. p. 4). She was still living in the 
Stone House and we lunched with her. 

At Shrewsbury we had seen Mr. Blunt, a chemist 
on the Wyle G)p, who was much interested in Life and 
Habit. A correspondence ensued of which I only find 
this letter : 


Butler to Mr. Blunt. 

5 July 1887 — Do you — does any man of science — believe that 1887 
the present orthodox feith can descend many generations longer Aet. 51 
without modification ? Do I — does any free-thinker who has the 
ordinary feelings of an Englishman — doubt that the main idea 
underlying and running through the ordinary orthodox faith is 
substantially sound ? 

That there is an unseen life and unseen kingdom which is not 
of this world, and that the wisdom of this world is foolishness 
with God ; that the life we live here is much but, at the same 
time, small as compared with another larger life in which we all 
share though, while here, we can know little if anything about it ; 
that there is an onmipresent Being into whose presence none can 
enter and from whose presence none can escape — an ineffable 
contradiction in terms (as I have said in Lvck or Cunning T) ; that 
the best are still unprofitable servants and that the wisest are still 
children — ^who that is in his senses can doubt these things ? And 
surely they are more the essence of Christianity than a belief that 
Jesus Christ died, rose from the dead, and ascended visibly into 

Technically and according to the letter of course they are not. 
According to the spirit I firmly believe they are. Tell me that 
Jesus Christ died upon the Cross, and I find not one tittle of 
evidence worthy of the name to support the assertion. Tell me 
that therefore we are to pull down the Church and turn everyone 
to his own way, and I reject this as fully as I reject the other. I 
want the Church as much as I want free-thought ; but I want the 
Church to pull her letter more up to date or else to avow more 
frankly that her letter is a letter only. If she would do this I, for 
one, would not quarrel with her. Unfortunately, things do not 
seem moving in the direction in which I would gladly see them 
go and do all in my power to help them go. 

Butler to Mr. Hay. 

14 July 1887 — ^It's all right about the parts — we ought to have 
seized them and shall know better another time. They are easily 
re-written as we have the score. 

I am, and so is Jones, exceedingly sorry that we have got you 
into being attacked by Mr. Moss. He is a very good fellow, but 
we cannot expect a University swell to know anything about art 
or music. 

I am sure Athaliah is quite as comic as Narcissus is. Besides 
I have heard your good uncle play ^ lA ci darem " in St. Mary's 


Z887 Church as a voluntary in the middle of the service. I remember 

Aet 51 it exceedingly well and no one in those da]rs gave him or herself 

any bally airs about it. I don't suppose they would mind playing 

the people out with the Wedding March from the Midsumnur 

Night^s Dream even now — at any rate your uncle often did it. 

However, we are exceedingly sorry we are always getting 
ourselves and our friends into some scrape-— at least when we deal 
with dons and uneducated people of that description. 

? Alps and Sanctuaries was known in Varallo, and especi- 

1 ally the sentence in the preface apologising for piiBlishing a 

' work professing to deal with the sanctuaries ot Piedmont 

and saying so little about the most important of them all 

— "Varallo requires a work to itself; I must therefore 

: ' hope to return to it on another occasion.** We were at 

. Vandlo in August 1 8 87, and Dionigi Negri did all he 

> could to force Butler to carry out his intention of writing 

• a book about the Sacro Monte. 

H. F. Jones to Charles Gogin. 

« Albergo Crocb Bianca, Varallo Sbsia. 

30 Aug.f 1887. 

Dear Gogin — Butler told me yesterday that I might write 
to you so I am doing it. He is up the oacro Monte writing. 
He calls it taking a holiday, but really he has been making great 
progress with a new Italian book which is to nm this place and 
Gaudenzio Ferrari. H6 has got some lovely things in the book. 
There is another man who did statues up here, Tabachetti, who 
is also to be run. On the other hand Varallo is running Butler, 
for we are to go to a banquet given in his honour on Thursday at 
the Albergo on top of the mountain, and he says we shall probably 
be kissed. To-morrow we are going with Dionigi Negri to the 
vineyards, and it will be like the day at the Cantine in jilps and 
Sanctuaries — at least we think so. I am enjoying myself very 
much and doing as nearly nothing as possible. 

On Sunday we went to Civiasco, a village in the mountains, 
and it was a festa, San Gottardo the Saint of the Church i and 
the people had brought offerings of butter (large round lumps), 
eggs, cheeses, cakes (great round flat ones with patterns on their 
backs), wine, nuts, biscuits, bacon, etc. These were to be sold 
after Vespers by auction and the money given to the Church — or 
rather taken by the priests ; we could not stay to see the sale, but 
we saw the procession and helped to carry the Madonna out of 
the church all down the village to a chapel where they reposed 



her. She also rested four times hj the way on tables put for her 1887 
reception covered with cloths, and on the cloths flowers were Aet. 51 
strewn. There was a band also, brass and two clarinets and a , 
flute, and it might have played better — ^it was buggy ^ ; it might 
also have chosen less frivolous music, but the Madonna's taste in 
music is rudimentary; she likes waltzes and such things. The * 
same band played in the church to accompany the Mass and 
Vespers. We lunched at the inn of La Martina, a large, jolly, 
middle-aged person. Dionigi Negri told us that in her youth she 
was ^ generosa." It has done her a great deal of good, and she is 
an example of its being more blessed to give than to receive (she 
has received a good deal, however). When we were at Fusio it 
was the festa of San Rocco, and we helped to carry him down the 
road and back to his place in church. We thinJc it is good for 
our morals to carry saints now and then. Butler sajrs it is the 
great principle of change, and the change is certainly complete. 

The new book is wo to contain other things besides Varallo* 
There is a lovely votive picture at Civiasco of a man who vras 
passing the Albergo del Falcone at Barcelona, in Spain, when a 
cannon ball from the battery across the river came and made his 
nose bleed. To prove the truth of the sutement a piece of the 
cannon ball is hung beside the picture. San Gottardo prevented 
its doing further damage. 

Do not trouble to write, but if you have anything you want 
to say we should receive a letter sent to Hotel Mont Blanc, 
Aostal, Italy. We go there on Friday and shall take two davs to 
get there and shall stay there two days, so far as we can tell ; if 
you do not write there well within a week, the next place to be 
sure of catching us is Hotel Grotta Crimea, Chiavenna, Italy. 
We should like to know how you are, and we hope you are 1 
better. We hope your mother is going on all right. We do not 1 
know when we shall get to Chiavenna nor how long we shall 
stay there. Russell Cooke is to jStK us there and I am to come 
home from thereT T am to be home by 22 S^pt. Bttder will 
st3y • long e r. - Tabachetti did some things at Crea, somewhere 
down near Alessandria, and he wants to go and inspect them. 

We are a little nervous about our vineyards to-morrow. In 
the first place, we have to start by the train leaving here at 
4.58 A.M., and that is early. In the next place it is certain thev 
will try, and almost certain they will succeed in making us drunk 
and then — well, you never can be certain what you may do when 
you are drunk ; oesides Butler says he can't write unless he keeps 
sober, which seems reasonable ; but I daresay we shall pull through 
somehow. Butler is very good and behaves like an angel. All 

> Gogin lived oppotite St. PancVas ChurcL'm' the Custon Road. One of the beUt 
waf out «f luBB JUd Lti wiil lu iijf it wttUkv lfa« tineU of a bug. 


1887 the people are so pleased to see him and compliment him on his 

Aet 51 good looks and on keeping so young. Then he puts on an air of 

* great sadness, lowers his voice, and tells them he has had the 

: misfortune to lose his father. He sends you his love. Yours 

. always, JfcimY Festino Jonbs. 

H. F. Jones io Qharles Gogin. ). 

Hotel Cavour, Milano, 10 Stpt 1887. 

Dear Gogin — ^There were no letters or papers at Aosta and, 
as it is pretty certain some were sent there, we have concluded 
there is something wrong with the Aosta post-office ; it is like 
the telephone in the hotel at Casale — ^not in activity. Con- 
sequently if you wrote to us there we did not get your letter. 
Our day at the vineyards went off without intoxication. 
Dionigi's uncle came with us and we both fell in love with him ; 
he is a delightful old man. He brought a basket containing 
some bread and the remainder of half a bottle of sherry, but he 
left it in the train and it went on to Novara and he had it on his 
mind all day ; it was not the bread nor the sherry, he said, but 
the basket. We told him we had drunk the sherry while he 
was asleep in the train, and the way he said ^' Chow " would have 
won your heart. He did nearly everything Dionigi told him, 
took the wrong turnings, drove the carriage, cut up the chicken 
etc., but once or twice (as when the turningwas too wrong) he 
put his foot down and wouldn't, and then Dionigi dried up at 

The banquet was a tremendous afiair, altogether there were 

- 26 people including the Procuratore del Re, the Sotto Prefetto, 

the Direttore del Sacro Monte, the Municipio and all the swells. 

Butler was put at the head of the table and we had a very good 

dinner. Afterwards there were speeches. The Director of the 

' Sacred Mountain proposed Butler's health in florid terms, and 

Butler replied in Italian. I forget how the speeches went, there 

, wtrt not many, but some villain proposed the health of England 

and mentioned me, and it was considered proper for me to 

reply which I did in about five words of what I intended to be 

French. Butler made two speeches and spoke beautifully. I 

asked Fuselli (an Italian who has been in America and who sat 

next me) how Butler spoke, and he said ^^ he finds his words as 

easily as we do." 

Before dinner we went to look at one of the figiu'es in the 
Deposition Chapel, an old man Butler has discovered [the 
Vecchietto] and about whom he will tell you — ^very interesting. 
The custode brought the keys and we all got into the chapel 
and examined him. 


We had been told that two of the soldiers, in the chapel 1887 
where Christ is taken in the garden, were made out of the old Aet 51 
statues of Adam and Eve when the present Adam and Eve in 
the first chapel were made, and we had examined the chapel in 
the morning and made up our minds that the soldier with a 
moustache and real drapery was Adam and the other soldier 
with long hair and armour was Eve. Eve was bigger than » 
Adam which was wrong, and she had no breasts to speak of, but '^ 
that might have been because neither Cain nor Abel was yet 
born. Her breast had been painted to represent armour in silver 
scales, which stopped short of her girdle, her intervening belly 
being painted blue, like an ancient Briton. As we were going 
into chapels before dinner, we thought we might as well settle the { 
Adam and Eve question for certain, so we went in and Dionigi 
investigated ; I also pulled up their clothes and we found we had 
been quite wrong in the morning. It is Eve who has the \ 
moustache and the drapery hides her breasts; and it is Adam's 
stomach that is painted blue. 

On Friday (2 Sept.) we went to Alagna in the post and here 
we had to put up with a double-bedded room which we never 
like. He is afraid his snoring will disturb me and says I am to 
wake him if he snores. The consequence is we neither of us 
go to sleep ; he is afraid if he does he shall snore and disturb me, 
and I am afraid if I do he will snore and I shall not be able to 
wake him, and he won't like that. In the morning occurred the 
toothbrush riots. He accused me of using his toothbrush — said 
he could see the marks of my teeth upon it. [I have not the 
faintest recollection of all this. — S. B., Feb. 22, 1902.] It was 
only with the greatest difficulty I got him to believe he was 
mistaken by assuring him that I had not cleaned my teeth for 
a fortnight. 

On Saturday 3 Sept. we walked over the Col d'Olen to 
Gressoney La Trinity on the 4th down the Valley to Issime, on 
the 5th further down to Pont Saint Martin, where we took the 
train to Aosta. Daniele was our guide the last 2 days, a 
charming young man who hates his sister. He can stand home 
on work days when he can get out, but the Sundays and the 
feste are kilUng him. On the 7th to Ivrea, and on the 8th to 

On the 9th we took train to Serra Lunga, and then drove 
to Crea where there is a Sanctuary containing figures bv 
Tabachetti. Many of the chapels are empty and some only half 
fiiU, being restored ; some have been restored. He will tell vou 
about it when we get back. One chapel had been turned mto 
a studio by an old Jew sculptor, the image of Shylock with 
a port-wine mark on his face. We found him suitably engaged 


1887 in modelling Christ on a wooden cross for the Crucifixion Chapel. 
Act. 51 It was the most rapid Crucifixion on record. He assured us that 
he only began at 9 that morning and when we saw it a few hours 
later one could almost sav that it was finished. We settled that 
he could give any man down to the wound in the side and beat 
him. TcMlay we came here. The hotel is kept by a married 
daughter of the people who keep the hotel at Faido, but it is 
an alarmingly swell place and we are going away as soon as 
we can as it makes us nervous. We hope you are all right, and 
your mother. Butler sends his love.— Yours always, 

Henry Fbsting Jonbs. 

P.S, — The banquet is reported in the Varallo paper. 

The word "Chow" uttered by Dionigi's uncle is 
really "Ciao," but I have preserved the other spelling 
because Butler so writes it in jilps and Sanctuaries. 

The municipal banquet took place in the loggia of 
the Albergo on the Sacro Monte which Butler adways 
spoke of as the most beautiful dining-room he knew. 
As we came down the slippery mountain path when it 
was all over, he said to me : 

" Well, after this you know, the next thing I do must 
be my book about the Sacro Monte." 

He refers to this dinner on p. 25 of Ex Voto^ where 
he says, speaking of the people of Varallo : 

Personally I owe them the greatest honour that has ever been 
conferred upon me — an honour far greater than any I have ever 
received among those who know me better and are probably 
better judges of my deserts. 

A reproduction of the figure in the Deposition 
chapel, the Vecchietto, is given as the frontispiece of 
Ex Voto. 

The chapel that the old Jew sculptor was using as 
a studio at Crea was littered with limbs half-formed and 
coming into being, and Butler said it was a topsy-turvy 

At Milan, Butler had photographs taken of the 
Bellini heads in Gentile's great picture of ^*St. Mark 
Preaching at Alexandria," and of those in Carpaccio's 
"Preaching of St. Stephen." We went to Bergamo and 
from there by the Lago d' Iseo to Lovere, Ponte della 



Selva, and back to Bergamo, and, by Lecco and Colico, 1SS7 
to Chiavenna, where we stayed at the Albcrgo Grotta ^^^ ^* 
Crimea. This albergo is mentioned in The Note-Books of • 
Samuel Butler ( 1 9 1 2 ). 


Alfred and the Triad on G 

Some years ago I tried to teach Alfred music, but by mutual 
consent we dropped the lessons after a few months, I asked him 
once what position the common chord of G was in, and played 

it for him thus : fe % meaning him to say that it was in its 

original position. The dear fellow looked at it for some time 
and answered: 

"I should say, sir, it was about the middle." 4 

Butkr to Mrs. Bridges. 

2 Nffu. 1887 — His [Alfred's] music lessons had been inter- 
mitted by my going abroad but I have lately resumed them. He 
kicks haird at the scales, but I am obdurate. He is very good, 
but is evidently imder the impression that I am an old, decrepit 
person with one foot in the grave. T'gota new pair^of hair- 
brushes tlie-otfaerday^-^affiod pair — the others having been long 
on their very last legs. 1 said to him that they would last my 

" Yes, sir," said he promptly. 

I was a litdc piqued and determined to give him a locus 
paenitentiae, so I said : 

" Of course, I can never hope to see them out." 

^ No, sir," he replied with equal promptitude. 

I was exceedingly amused. Of course one never can tell 
from week to week, but I am not going to settle the matter out 
of hand that I am not to survive my hair-brushes. 

In 1887 Francis Darwin published the Life and Letters 
of Charles Durwin : • On p; 220'5fvoi. IH. bcccrrs a passage 
referring ^6 'flie publication of Erasmus Darwin and to 
Butler's accusations which followed ; the passage will be 
found in an Appendix (post) quoted by Butler in his letter 
to The Athenaeum^ 26th November 1887. It concludes : . 

The affair gave my &ther much pain, but the warm sympathy 
of those whose opinion he respected soon helped him to let it 
pass into a well-merited contempt. 


1S87 In 1887 Francis Darwin also issued a new edition of 

^^ 5* Charles Darwin's Erasmus Darwin^ and fulfilled his father's 
promise to Butler by adding to the original preface this 
footnote : 

^ Mr. Darwin accidentally omitted to mention that Dr. Krause 

revised, and made certain additions to, his essay before it was 
translated. Among these additions is an allusion to Mr. Butler's 
Evolution Old and New. 



Butler saw that this third foot-note changed the sense 
which the other two foot-notes had borne when they stood 
alone in the preface to the first edition, and wrote to The 
Academy 2l letter which is reproduced in an Appendix (post) 
dated 17th December 1887 : "Mr. Francis Darwin has 
now stultified his father's preface." In so writing he did 
not know, and he had no means of knowing, that the 
third foot-note had restored to the preface the meaning 
( which Charles Darwin had originally intended it to bear. 

In his early days Butler had dabbled in photography ; 
he now bought two cameras, one for snap-shots and one 
for time-exposures, and took a few lessons so that he 
might photograph the statues in the chapels at Varallo- 

A Winter Journby 

Gogin and I spent Xmas at Boulogne and on the afternoon 
of DefcV 28, 1887 I 'cf^ ^or Varallo — travelling all night to Basel. 

It was bitterly cold and, between Ch&lons and the Swiss 
firontier, the snow drifted in from each window and piled itself 
up on the seats near the windows, so that I could only sit in 
the very middle of the carriage. Fortunately I was the only 

I was very thickly clad, but v^as wearing a sling bag outside 
my greatcoat, so that the warmth of my body would hardly 
anect the thermometer that I had within it — still no doubt the 
temperature inside the bag would be warmer than that outside. 
About 2 A.M. I took the thermometer out and found it at 26**. 

At Basel everything was warm. I crossed Switzerland to 
Luino on a brilliant cloudless day— everything was deep in snow. 
I never saw Switzerland look more beautiful, but I suppose it was 
chiefly the strangeness that made it fiiscinate me so strongly. 
After Luino there was very little snow, but all the little water- 
falls were locked in frost. The carriages were now no longer 


warmed and I was half starved when I reached Varallo about i88S 
10 P.M. Aet $t 

It was bitterly cold all the time I was at Varallo — about 4 
weeks — but it was quite clear ; all day long great masses of ice 
were being brought in from the Mastallone to store in the ice- 
houses, and I did not see a waterfall that was not locked and 
turned to icy stalagmites. Once or twice I went down to Milan 
for a day, but always from about Sizzano onward there was thick 
fog — ^the hoar frost hanging an inch long on every twig, and the 
sun looking as white as a white plate. I never felt the cold much 
more than I did in January 1888 at Varallo, but it was colder on 
the plains. — [S. B., Feb. 23, 1902.] 

Dionigi Negri made the necessary arrangements so 
that Butler could go inside the chapels and take his photo- 
graphs from any point of view. The chapels were dark 
and, though he helped himself with magnesium wire, he 
often had to expose a plate for half an hour, or more, 
during which time he was forced to contemplate and 
meditate upon the statues. In this way he came to have 
a very intimate knowledge of them. 

Sometimes he passed his evenings with the landlord, 
Carlo Topini, in the Albergo della Posta. Dionigi Negri 
would come, and they sat on the settles before the fire of 
peat and wood. Sometimes Dionigi Negri would take 
him to the house of his uncle Zio Paolo, who was a baker 
in the Piazza. Then they sat in the kitchen, Butler in 
front of the fire in the middle with Dionigi next him on 
one side, and Signor Cesare, who had married Zio Paolo's 
daughter, on the other ; the semicircle being completed 
by Zio Paolo and his young man-servant and factotum, 
Leonardo, one on each side of the fire. Leonardo's 
pretty little sister sat in the background with the other 
woman servant, sewing or darning stockings, and the two 
bakers who made Zio Paolo's bread used always to come 
in and say ** good-night " at half-past nine and then go 
off at once to bed, for they had to begin work by two in 
the morning. 

Of course they referred to the loss of the Xeres, and 
Zio Paolo held up his hands and said : 


Dionigi would profess to take no interest in the matter, 



isss and would declare that the basket must have gone on to 
^^ ^* Naples where all lost luggage goes. Zio Paolo said : 

« Chow ! " 

It became a standard joke, and whenever we returned 
to Varallo we always asked if he had found the basket 
with the Xeres, and he always held up his hands and 
said : 

" Chow ! " 

Sometimes Leonardo, if he thought proper, would 
fetch out his photograph album, which had a musical box 
in the binding, and set it to play its tunes to them, and 
they would all exclaim : 


Which is what the people say when they look into the 
chapels on the Mountain. And sometimes, in honour of 
Butler's presence, Leonardo would tell them about England. 
He wished he could introduce into Italy that very small 
breed of pigs which we have and which is so much better 
than any ItaHan pig. He had seen rows and rows of 
these little pigs hanging outside the butchers' shops in 
London ; they were ever so small, and any one who would 
introduce them into Italy might make a fortune. It 
turned out that he meant sucking-pigs. He could noC 
conceive why the Italians should not eat sucking-pigs if 
they could get them, so he concluded they must be a kind 
peculiar to England. 
I On the 17th May 1888, we received the first copy of 

■ Ex Voto : an Account of the Sacro Monte or New Jerusalem 
\ at Varallo-Sesia^ with some Notice of TabachettVs remaining 

■ Work at Crea. The motto on the title-page is " II n'y a 
" que deux ennemis de la religion — ^le trop peu et le trop ; 

et des deux, le trop est mille fois le plus dangereux" 
(L'Abb6 Mabillon, 1698). The dedication runs thus : 
" Ai Varallesi e Valsesiani Y Autore Riconoscente." 

Before Butler wrote Ex Voto the chapels were not 
very well cared for ; after the publication of his book 
Tabachetti's great ** Journey to Calvary " was admirably 
restored by Signor Arienta, and any one at all in the habit 
of judging art could then at once see that it is a work of 
the first quality ; but this was not so easy in 1888. It 


must still be difficult for any one to discover at first sight isss 
that the ** Massacre of the Innocents," by Paracca, is ^*^ ^* 
better than many of the inferior chapels. It takes a long 
time for a person to learn to recognise fine work in a form 
of art with which he is unfamiliar, and mangy wigs, pink 
noses, shiny cheeks, broken fingers, and hands swollen with 
repeated coats of paint are no help. The fact that these 
defects were much more obvious before Butler wrote Ex 
Voto than they are now added enormously to the difficulty 
of his work, for he was practically discovering the Sacro 
Monte under very unfavourable conditions. Some day, 
perhaps, all the chapels will have been as well restored as 
the " Journey to Calvary," and then the casual visitor will 
find it easier to do justice to the best of them. « 

One of the illustrations in Ex Voto (p. 189) represents ; 
Butler standing by the side of Gaudenzio's statue of 
Stefano Scotto. He had this done to show how real this 
statue looks even when compared with a living figure. It 
looked so real in the photograph that Mrs. Doncaster, \ 
mistaking Scotto's gaberdine for a petticoat, asked Mrs. 
Cathie whether that was the lady Mr. Butler was going 
to marry. 

0' ■ : 

*J ^ : 

« - ^ 



c ; 


y? ;7«xA4>. 


1888— Part II. 1889 


1888 In June 1888 we published Narcissus^ the words written 
^^ ^* and the music composed by Samuel Butler and Henry 
Festing Jones. Although we were trying to imitate 
Handel we did not dare to call our work an Oratorio, still 
less did we dare to call it an Oratorio BuiFo, which is what 
it really is, so we called it a Dramatic Cantata, meaning by 
dramatic no more than that the singers are named, as in 
Saul. This is the Argument : 

Part I. Narcissus, a simple shepherd, and Amaryllis, a prudent 
shepherdess, with companions who form the chorus, have aban- 
doned pastoral pursuits and embarked on a course of speculation 
upon the Stock Exchange. This results in the loss of the 
hundred pounds upon which Narcissus and Amaryllis had intended 
to marry. Their engagement is broken off and the condolences 
of the chorus end Part 1. 

Part II. In the interval between the parts the aunt and god- 
mother of Narcissus has died at an advanced age and is discovered 
to have been worth one hundred thousand pounds, all of which she 
has bequeathed to her nephew and godson. This removes the 
obstacle to his union with Amaryllis ; but the question arises as to 
what securities the money is to be invested in. At first he is 
inclined to resume his speculations and to buy Egyptian bonds, 
American railways, mines, etc. ; but, yielding to the advice of 
Amaryllis, he resolves to place the whole of it in the Three 
per cent Consolidated Bank Annuities, to marry at once, and to 
live comfortably upon the income. With the congratulations 
and approbation of the chorus the work is brought to a conclusion. 

There was a good deal of discussion going on at the 


4 • 

»• .' ■♦."^ .*■ *'.,'»*" •*l,.«K'..'tJ^ * -ftr^f 7 ■ ^-•••■^' Tli»«-i#.-. •* \ . * 

*^#' ■ »r* • •» 

/. '/jccf^^-^ 

• - X.\M! 

' ^. 31 TIER 


• •« 'fds wrirt 

/id HciV 

''Q inner* 
■ratorio, :^r 
. ^'•hich is wl . 
: .1, innning I* • 
"L ramcJ, as i: 

k •. 

»'■.' t'iiorus, have ab;in- 

'. .1 v-{jurse of spoculaTii)!. 

...'s iii the loss of* Hit 

'... Amaryllis had intend''.. 

I . }ii and the con-iolcnc: ^ 

>.r parts the aunt and g:»d- 

.. jVAUCcd af^e ai'd is uiicovcrc 

■•• .i}-a.!id pouiuis, all of which ^^l-.^ 

..(1 god>on. 1 his removes the 

. . ir\llis ; but the question arises a^ to 

:> to Uc invested in. At first he i?» 

. . il.irions and to bay Kevptian hond>, 

.'*. ; b'l^, yieid'n-: to the adv^-c v/f 

••'e rfie whole of it i^i tne I^hrce 

» n;.i> i. :'(-'», to marry at o/ice, and to With the CvM-.i^'-ntulatioi 3 

■• i.ic work isbroiitht coa v.';UiLiii'on. 

' '1 of J'icussion goin^r on at ti-ic 


y? ^„yf^i^- 

'.V» .-^•i*— T" ■ —-^ ' * ■ I ■ I ■ ■ ^^i^^^^-vi^Pi^^iiv^^^ 


time in musical circles about additional accompaniments to 1888 
the Messiah^ and Butler wrote a few lines to record our ^^ 5* 
wishes as to any performance of Narcissus that might 
possibly have been contemplated : 

May he be caned for evermore 

Who tampers with Nardssu^ score ; 

May he by poisonous snakes be bitten 

Who writes more parts than what we've written. 

We tried to make our music clear 

For those who sing and those who hear. 

Not lost and muddled up and drowned 

In overdone orchestral sound ; 

So kindly leave the work alone 

Or do it as we want it done. 

Hitherto the musical societies of the country have 
adopted the former of the alternatives proposed in the 
concluding couplet. 

Butler was not satisfied with having only written half 
of Narcissus f and was glad to get it published and off his 
mind| so that he could turn his attention to Ulysses which, 
as he wrote to his sister 3rd June 1886 (ante» II. p. 38), was 
to be its successor. He was only to write half of Ulysses^ 
but by adding these two halves together he would be able 
to say that he had written and composed the equivalent 
of a whole Handelian oratorio. For the present, however, 
he was not able to do much with Ulysses^ because he was 
too closely occupied with other work ; but it began 
gradually to shape itself. 

When he returned from photographing the statues at 
Varallo he was disgusted to find that the authorities of the 
British Museum nad removed Frost's Lives of Eminent 
Christians from its accustomed shelf in the Reading Room 
of the British Museum. He had been in the habit of 
using the book to prop up his blotting-pad in order to 
make for himself a sloping desk, and the loss of it made 
him feel ** as Wordsworth is generally supposed to have 
felt when he became aware that Lucy was in her grave, 
and exclaimed so emphatically that this would make a 
considerable difference to him, or words to that effect." 
About this time Harry Quilter, who knew Butler slightly, 
started The Universal Review^ and asked Butler to write 



iS88 for it. Butler, without his Eminent Christians, was at a 
Act. 5a jQgg . jjg ^j^ j^jg jj^^ however, and wrote for the July 

number of the review, ** Quis desiderio . . . ? '* wherein 
he compared himself to Wordsworth and, for this purpose, 
brought both Lucy and Moore's ** young lady who never 
loved the dear gazelle — and I don't believe she did " out 
of their pigeon-hole at last. At the end of the article 
was this 

Note by Professor Gamett^ British Museum. 

The frost has broken up. Mr. Butler is restored to literature. 
Mr. Mudie may make himself easy. England will still boast a 
humourist; and the late Mr. Ehrwin (to whose posthumous 
machinations the removal of the book was owing) will continue 
to be confounded. 

This meant that Frost's Lives of Eminent Christians 
had been restored to its shelf. Butler was in consequence 
able to contribute nine more articles to The Universal 

This autumn I did not accompany him when he went 
abroad, because my brother Edward was coming home 
from India for a holiday, and I did not want to be out of 
reach. Butler went first to Dinant on the Meuse, Cavaliere 
Alessandro Godio having shown that Tabachetti, the 
sculptor of the great " Journey to Calvary " chapel at 
Varallo, came from there and that his name was Jean. 
With the assistance of Monsieur Remade, Butler succeeded 
in identifying Tabachetti of Varallo with Jean de Wespin 
of Dinant. He also went to Namur, where he saw 
deeds relating to the de Wespin family, and collected 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Dinant. 7 Aug. 1888 — I have found a lot about Tabachetti's 
family and ^^ hope " to find at Namur a notice in the archives of 
the state of our man ; so I go there at once. There is a John 
Tabaguet figuring there in the year 1587 which is one of our 
missing years. The family name was De Wespin ; they were 
the leading people in Dinant, but became so numerous that their 

1 A miitake for ** Mr. Gamett." 



scions adopted new names among which were Tabaguet, Grossir, 1888 
Bovir and others. Act. 5* 

Varallo. 12 Aug. 1888 — I found our Tabachetti at Namur. 
He was still expatri^ and the court was appointing him a tuteur 
or guardien to receive some property that had devolved upon him. 
They are immensely excited at Dinant and Namur. I felt 
almost as though I were Tabachetti coming back after an absence 
of 300 years. 

Varallo. 26 Aug. 1888 — To-day is the festa at Civiasco 
which we attended last year. It is Spoiled by the rain. By the 
way, they have two passefi solitarii at the hotel. One of them 
knows me perfectly well and sings very conversationally. The 
other is not so easy to get on with and is more uncertain in his 
temper, still he is not a bad bird. 

The people at Varallo were so pleased with Ex Voto 
that Cavaliere Angelo Rizzetti translated it into Italian, 
and Butler was asked to look over the MS., criticise and 
make suggestions. He found it, however, so crude and 
*' illegible that I have determined to chuck it and have 
struck. It would, I think, about settle my hash. They 
must get some one to revise it and pay him if they want it 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Varallo. Tuesday morning^ Aug. 1888 — I went up to La 
Rese yesterday and was not tired. I had a very ^ood view and, 
coming down, joined a party of about 50 Varallesi who were 
having a picnic. I need hardly say they were a little uproarious. 
The Sotto Prefetto^ the Procuratore del Re and every one else 
wore the ladies* hats, so did I. You should have seen me in a 
lady's hat turning the hurdy-gurdv while they danced on the 
grass under the chestnuts. By the way, we must get in the 
winds and Aeolus somehow [into Ulyssis] if only in allusion, as I 
want the bagpipes to do the fizzing and hissing of the escaping 
winds as they tear the bag in twain and rouse the sympathetic 

The seats of the stalls in the church of Santa Maria 
Maggiore at Bergamo are ornamented with intarsia work 
executed by Bergamasque artists and designed in part by 
Lorenzo Lotto. Butler had admired this work for years 
and, having now a camera, wrote to Cagnoni, who had 
become maestro di cappella at Bergamo, asking if he 




1888 could get him leave to photograph it Cagnoni replying 
Act. sa jjj ^i^g affirmative, Butler went to Bergamo, where he took 
eight negatives, but the light was bad and the results were 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Bergamo. 4 Sept. 1888 — I heard Cagnoni's Vespers on 
Sunday. The music was very good and did not bore me at all ; 
but there was one very comic climax, led up to with much 
pomp and circumstance, and then, when all was hushed and you 
could hear a pin drop, the harp gave out the following melody 
and developed it with very pretty variations : 


fr . PF 


I can't be certain that I have got more than the two first 
bars right, but I will swear tq^ them and to the spirit of the 

He went from Bergamo to Verona, Padua, Venice, 
Bologna, Parma, Milan and back to Varallo. On the 
way he was stopped at Verona by floods, but not so 
seriously as in 1882. 

You could see the river rushing by, past their open kitchen 
window, and the people inside were working on, just as though 
nothing had happened or were going to happen. So, if a star 
were seen approaching and must hit the earth at 7 p.m. on 
Friday, The Times would be published as usual on Friday 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Varallo. 28 Sept. 1888— To-day in the "Ecce Homo" 
chapel, satisfied that Tabachetti worked in it, I wondered whether I 
could find his portrait. Leonardo is in the chapel, next but one 
to Scotto, and I said to myself, " If Tabachetti is in the chapel he 
will be next to Leonardo." There is a very beautiful figure in 
that position which you don't know and I said, " That ought to 
be Tabachetti." I went up to see if I could find anything 
written, and found V cut deep in the hat, before baking, on the 
ofF-side of the figure, invisible from the front. V, as the Italians 


have no W, would do very well for Wespin. I have a photo of 1888 
the head. There is no writing on any other figure. Aeu 5a 


After leaving Varallo he made a wild-goose chase of 
an excursion to Crevacuore to see another sanctuary 
which might have contained work by Tabachetti, but did 
not, and then returned to London : 

The first shop I saw was Byle's eating house; the young 
man in the seat opposite me began reading John IngUsant an^ 
outside, the Salvation Army began singing about ^^'eav'nly, 
'eav'nly music floating through the hair." 

Alfred to H. F. Jones. 

15 Clifford's Inn, Oct. 13/88. 

Dear Sir — Will you please be so kind as to take Mr. Buder 
to a theatre one evening next week, as I think the change would 
do him good. He is having rather a harassing time just now. 
If you will do so I shall be very pleased. — ^Yours very truly, 

Alfred Cathie. 

This autumn, Mrs. Doncaster having become too old 
and infirm to be of much use, Butler dismissed her with a 
pension, and for the future Alfred's aunt, Mrs. Cathie, 
attended to him in his rooms. The pension kept Mrs. 
Doncaster out of the workhouse till 1898, when a 
paralytic stroke sent her to the infirmary, where she 
soon afterwards died ; and Butler did as he had promised 
when he induced her to drop the insurance on her life, 
and had her suitably buried. 

In "A Sculptor and a Shrine" published in The 
Universal Review for November 1888 Butler gives all the 
information he had collected since the publication of Ex 
Voto relating to Tabachetti, and also a description of the 
figures at Montrigone down the Val Sesia. In this article 
he also shows reason for believing the figure with the V on 
it m the " Ecce Homo " chapel at Varallo to be a portrait 
ot Tabachetti by himself. It stands with one he supposes 
to be D' Enrico (another sculptor on the mountain) and 
also with statues representing ^ Leonardo da Vinci and 
Stefano Scotto — ^replicas of those which are in Gaudenzio's 
••Crucifixion" chapel. He thought at first that the 


1889 statue called U Vecchietto, the most beautiful on the 
^^ ^^ mountain, was a portrait of Tabachetti by himself, but 
subsequent discoveries made by the Avvocato Negri of 
Casale-Monferrato have shown that Tabachetti died in 
161 5» %^ about fifty-five, and the Vecchietto, being the 
portrait of a very old man, cannot be intended for him, 
though it may be, and probably is, his work. These 
discoveries were communicated verbally to Butler by the 
Avvocato, who used them afterwards in his own pamphlet, 
// Santuario di Crea (Alessandria, 1902). 

Butler prepared a leaflet (4 pp.) of " Additions and 
Corrections** for Ex Voto^ containing the substance of 
" A Sculptor and a Shrine,** to be given to any readers of 
Ex Voto who wrote to the publishers for it. He also pre- 
pared *'a revised, enlarged and adnotated copy of the 
book *' of which two copies only were printed (1890). 

Butler to Alfred Marks. 

Fib, 14, 1889. 

Dbar Marks — I am afraid the little book you have referred 
to in yours of Feb. 13 [>/ First Year in Canterbury Settlement'] 
was written by me. My people edited my letters home. I did 
not write freely to them, of course, because they were my people ; 
if I was at all freer anywhere they cut it out before printing it — 
besides I had not yet shed my Cambridge skin, and its trail is 
everywhere I am afraid perceptible. I have never read the book 
myself. I dipped into a few pages when they sent it to me in New 
Zealand, but saw ^^ prig " written upon them so plainly that T read 
no more and never have and never mean to. I am told the book 
sells for /i a copy in New 2^1and — ^in fact, last Autumn I know 
Sir W. Suller gave that for a copy in England ; so as a specula- 
tion it is worth 2/6 or 3/. 

I stole a passage or two from it for Erewhon — meaning to let 
it go and never be reprinted at any rate during my lifetime. 

I will get Mrs. Marks's book from Mudie's ; that it is excellent 
goes without saying, but you know very well that I never read 
unless under some compulsion. Believe me, yours truly, 

S. Butler. 

Alfred Marks was a brother of the artist, Henry Stacy 
Marks. Evidently he had picked up a copy of the book 
cheap, and wrote to ask Butler if he was the author. 
Butler did not keep Marks's letter, nor a copy of his 



reply, but Marks pasted the reply into his copy of the 1889 
book, which after his death was bought by Mr. Alexander ^^^ ^^ 
H. Turnbull of Wellington, New Zealand (ante, I. p. 102). 
Mr. Turnbull sent me a copy of Butler's letter, with a 
letter from himself, 23rd August 1913, in which he says : 

The Sir W. BuUer referred to in the letter was Sir Walter 
Lawry BuUer — author of a large work on the Birds of New 
2^ealand. I knew him quite well ; he was collecting New 
2^ealand books in 1889 and it is quite likely he told me the price 
he paid for jf First Tear and I may have passed on the informa- 
tion to H. £• Clarke and so it may have reached Butler's ears. 

On reading these letters I remembered that Herbert 
Edwin Clarke had met a rich New Zealander in Elder's 
office, where he was working. Clarke, hearing that the 
New Zealander was collecting books about the colony, 
showed him a copy of ji First Tear in Canterbury Settlement^ 
and told him he had bought it at some second-hand shop 
for a few shillings. The New Zealander offered him a 
pound for the book, and Qarke handed it over. It was 
either Clarke or I who told Butler about the transaction. 

During 1887 Butler had been much at Shrewsbury on 
business, and early in 1888 the leading members or the 
Shrewsbury Archaeological Society had expressed a wish, 
through Mr. William rhiUips of Canonbury, Shrewsbury, 
that he should write a memoir of his grandfather and 
father for their Quarterly Journal. This he had agreed to 
do after he should have finished Ex Voto. The memoir 
of Dr. Butler was to be about 40 or 80 pages ; but 
" Let no man say * Come, I will write a duodecimo.' " 
In December 1888 his sisters, with the idea of helping him 
to write the memoir, gave him his grandfather's correspond- 
ence extending from 1 790 to 1 839, and this correspondence 
was a revelation. 

Butler to fVilliam Phillips. 

17 Dec. 1888 — Everything from first to last, beginning (as 
yet, so far as I have dipped into earHer correspondence) with a 
correspondence in 1804 which would melt the heart of a stone, 
is good, straightfonvard, generous, forbearing and all that an 
anxious grandson would desire his grandfather to be. More I 


1889 cannot say ; less would whoUv fail to convey an idea of the respect 

Aet. 53 and admiration with which toe character now first known to me 

impresses me. But — I must make my work into a full-sized book 

and publish it as my next volume. Of course it won't sell, but 

that is part of the game : I have got to do it. 

And so the paper for the Shrewsbury Archaeological 
Journal had to be given up, and Butler set to work upon 
The Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler^ which was not 
published till 1896. 

The Rev. F. E. Gretton and the Rev. Canon Evans of 
Durham, to whom the next two letters are addressed, had 
been pupils of Dr. Butler. 

Butler to the Rev. F. E. Gretton. 

12 March 1889 — ^The conception I form of my grandfather's 
character is briefly as follows. ... I imagine that his strength 
lay in his combinations rather than in abnormal development in 
any single direction. He loved a joke dearly, but his own humour 
is only very average. He could, and did at times, write admirably 
— sometimes, indeed,^ incomparably, as in his inscription on his 
father and mother's monument — but he cannot be called a great 
writer.^ His judgements on other writers are not to be relied on 
— witness his enthusiasm for Luden Bonaparte's Char/emagnij and 
his Treatise on the Art of English Composition (MS.) which 
would ruin any man's style who paid the slightest heed to it He 
was not a seer of visions and a dreamer of dreams. To genius he 
can hardly, as it seems to me, lay claim. But, on the other hand, 
indomitable perseverance, quick perception of the main point in 
any question, patience under provocation — ^almost unbelievable by 
anyone who has not the letters before him, some of which I shall 
print and which have done more than anvthing else to make me 
so enamoured of his character. Placable almost to a fault; 
generous not less so ; straightforwardness, sincerity, and hatred of 
anything mean or unworthy, absolutely unsurpassable. Ever ready 
to help a friend or even an enemy if down on his luck ; no labour 
was too much for him ; the evidence of this which I shall bring 
forward (of course unobtrusively] will need no comment ; a very 
considerable talent for a very large range of things ; the ensemble 
of these qualities, and I have omitted much else, seems to me 

^ ** Aa inscription to the tcholart of thote dayi wai like the sound of the bugle to a 
war-hone. I have heard my father tell how Dr. Parr once uid to njy grandfather^ 
* It's all very well, Sammy, to say that So-and-so is a good scholar, hut can he write an 
inscription ? ' " — Lift tmd Letters of Dr. BmiUr^ ^*^SS» 

^ ■•«'« luj twmrr^^mr'^^ 


both far more rare and far more admirable than brilliancy in one 1889 
or two directions with marked deficiency in others. ^^ 53 

Again, his courtliness of manner which appears in nearly 
every one of the countless letters by him in my possession ; and 
his marvellous meekness ; this last appears more especially in the 
diary he kept during his last illness which was fiill of misgivings 
that he had not been good enough. 

Butler io the Rev. Canon Evans of Durham. 

21 March 1889 — I take it he was not a poet, not a humourist 
(though he dearly loved a joke), not a good judge of literature 

S though he could write, and did sometimes write, admirably). 
\ doubt his having been a man of what is commonly called genius 
— whatever that may mean. Whether he was passionate or not I 
do not know and should particularly wish for information. In 
his letters his command of his temper is beyond all praise — simply 
admirable — but I have always, rightly or wrongly, imagined him 
as a little hasty and choleric, though only superncially. . . . On 
the other hand his straightforwardness, robustness, generous 
placability, kindness of heart, laboriousness, and a hundred other 
good qualities, have made me fairly lose my heart to him. 

Reading his grandfather's papers and correspondence 
had inspired Butler with an almost Chinese reverence for 
his ancestor, and showed him that his previous opinion 
about him had been wrong. This meant that conse- 
quently George Pontifex in The Way of All Flesh was a 
libel. I did my best, and so did others, to persuade him 
that it could not matter, that he had presented a very 
lifelike and amusing old gentleman, and that the more it 
difiered from his grandfather, the less any one could 
accuse him of being disrespectful to the real man ; but 
we did not succeed. He was as scrupulous and punctilious 
as his own Ernest, and intended to ease his conscience by 
altering that part of his book ; but other things occupied 
him, and he never did it. 

He used to think he resembled his grandfather, and 
in some respects he did : let us consider how far the fore- 
going estimate applies to himself. 

" Dr. Butler dearly loved a joke, but did not often say 
a good thing/' This is from Butler's MS. Note-Book. 




1889 Old Mrs. Freer, Dr. Butler's first cousin, told me that a silly 

Act. 53 woman once brought two boys to Shrewsbury, and said to Dr. 
Butler that she hoped he would put them in the same form and 
in the same bed-room. 

" They have never," she said, " been separated, they are like 
twins i and indeed I may say they are twins, for there is only 17 
months between them. 

To which Mrs. Freer told me that Dr. Butler replied with a 
grave face, ^ Good heavens, Madani, what a labour ! " 

Another example of Dr. Butler's humour is quoted in 
the Introduction to Butler's Life of his grandfather. As 
the doctor was entering the schoolroom one day, a writ- 
ing on the wall by some boy of the lower school caught 
his eye : " Butler is an old fool." 

" Ah," said Dr. Butler, " the melancholy truth stares 
me in the face." 

I have nothing to say against these as examples of 
humour, but they were exceptional efforts, whereas 
humour was one of the grandson's most distinguishing 
characteristics. It was not that one could say he had the 
gift of humour, in the sense that he was complete without 
it, and it had happened to be added, as a man may happen 
to wear a ring which has been given him ; his whole nature 
was penetrated with it. But at the same time his whole 
nature was not less penetrated with reverence, and the 
combination gave to his conversation and to his writing 
a peculiar richness. 

Here is a note made by Butler : 

There will be no comfortable and safe development of our 
social arrangements — ^I mean we shall not get infanticide, and the 
permission of suicide, nor cheap and easy divorce — till Jesus 
Christ's ghost has been laid ; and the best way to lay it is to be 
a moderate churchman. 

Assuming for a moment that Dr. Butler would have 
agreed with the substance of this note, it would certainly 
never have occurred to him to state it in such a form. 

At the Erewhon Dinner in 19 14, Mr. Desmond 
MacCarthy spoke very felicitously of the exploring quality 

xxvii REVERENCE 75 

of Butler's humour, saying that he would send it forth as 1889 
Noah sent the dove out of the ark to search and find if ^^ ^^ 
perhaps there might be any solid ground in the neigh- 
bourhood ; and it seldoioi returned without having made 
some interesting discovery. 

In yil^s and Sanctuaries Butler was thinking of himself 
when he wrote thus of Lord Beaconsfield : 

Earnestness was his greatest danger, but if he did not quite 
overcome it (as, indeed, who can ? it is the last enemy that shall 
be subdued), he managed to veil it with a fiiir amount of success. 

To veil his own earnestness he turned most naturally 
to humour, qualifying it with its opposite, as all the great 
humorists have done, to express his deepest and most 
solemn convictions. I suppose that those who have once 
got the double flavour of this kind of humour well into 
their heads, as Butler got the flavour of Ch&teau Lafitte 
into his, will find the ordinary growths unpalatable in com- 
parison. He knew that, as he says somewhere, ^' A little 
levity will save many a good heavy thing from sinking." 
Sometimes, of course, he risked being misunderstood, but 
he was writing neither for those who do not think over 
what they read, nor for those who are easily thrown oflF 
their balance, nor for those whose sight, blinded by the 
brilliance of the surface, cannot pierce through and discern 
the solid ground beneath — he was writing, as Mozart wrote, 
for himsdf and a few intimate friends. 

In the matter of Dr. Krause's Kosmos article Mr. 
Darwin by his silence appeared to admit that he had no 
defence to make, and thereafter nothing was bad enough 
for Mr. Darwin. Butler made the following note ; and 
if the bitterness of the opening appears unjustified, we 
must remember that he knew nothing about the letters 
sent to me in 19 10 by Mr. Darwin's son. 

I do not see how I can well call Mr. Darwin the Pecksniff of 
Science, though this is exactly what he is ; but I think I may call 
Lord Bacon the Pecksniff of his age and then, a little later, say 
that Mr. Darwin is the Bacon of the Victorian era. This will 
be like passing one item through two different accounts, as though 
I had made Pecksniff debtor to Bacon and Bacon debtor to 
Darwin, instead of entering Pecksniff debtor to Darwin at once. 



1889 Apropos of this there is a further note reminding 

^** ^^ himself to call Tennyson the Darwin of Poetry, and 
Darwin the Tennyson of Science. 

This note about Pecksniff resembles that other note he 
made at Miss Savage's funeral (ante, I. p. 441) about the 
lady who was not at all a fit person to be entrusted with 
the keys of Hell and of Death. In the one case he was 
grizzling under Darwin's treatment of him, in the other 
he was plunged in grief for the loss of Miss Savage ; but 
neither his resentment nor his sorrow could restrain his 
bubbling humour, and he did not care who misunder- 
stood him. 

Butler wrote admirably, I think I may say, always, 
and not merely sometimes as his grandfather did in an 
occasional inscription. Mr. Bernard Shaw in reviewing 
Samuel Butler : A Critical Study^ by Gilbert Cannan, in 
The New Statesman^ 8th May 191 5, says, quite justly, 
that Butler "had the supreme sort of style that never 
smells of the lamp, and therefore seems to the kerosene 
stylist to be no style at all." 

In the note "Style" (TA<f Note-Books^ 19 12) Butler 
speaks of his style as "just common, simple straight- 
forwardness." A great deal of effort went to the attain- 
ing of this simplicity ; but the effort was not spent in 
consciously labouring after any style. He wrote to Sir 
W. T. Marriott (14th Aug. 1862, ante, I. p. 98), " I feel 
strongly and write as I feel." His effort was to ascertain 
as precisely as possible what it was that he felt, and 
then to do his best to state it as clearly and tersely as 
possible — z, method which he had discovered for himself 
as early as 1858, when he wrote the essay "On English 
Composition " (ante, I. p. 56). The process involved re- 
consideration and re-writing ; as he told Miss Savage in 
November 1871 (ante, I. p. 146), " I am not to be trusted 
to write three lines unless I can keep them three weeks." 
It would probably be correct to say that everything he 
published was re- written, none of it less than three 
times, much of it four, five, six and even seven times. 
I suppose that Erewhon Revisited was the least re-written 
of his books — that is as a book ; but parts of the 

xxvii CRITICISM 77 

material had already been reconsidered and re- written 1S89 
before he started on the book itself. ^^ ^5 

As an illustration of his skill in placing le mot juste, 
take this sentence in "Eating and Proselytising" {The 
Note-BookSy 1 9 1 2) : "As we get older we must digest 
more quietly still, our appetite is less, our gastric juices 
are no longer so eloquent, they have lost that cogent 
fluency which carried away all that came in contact with 
it/' The whole note should be read for the effect to be 
appreciated, but this quotation will suffice for the moment. 
Words like " eloquent " and " that cogent fluency " do 
not fall into such places without coaxmg ; and he put 
them where he did after much thought and because he 
wanted to make his meaning clear and interesting. 
Again, let the reader refer to the note headed " Our 
Trivial Bodies,*' where Butler speaks of Handel sitting 
in his room at Gopsall writing the Messiah. Gopsall did 
not get there by accident ; only a writer susceptible to 
the magic of sound could have placed it where it is. 
And when he made this note he did not believe that the 
Messiah was written at Gopsall ; he had already accepted 
the opinion of Schcelcher, whose Life of Handel he 
possessed, that the legend about Gopsall was not sup- 
ported by the facts. But he wanted the word to come 
as a shock after the solemn beauty of the passage which 
leads to it, and he placed it there — ^legend or no legend 
— ^intending it to arrest the reader's attention. 

Butler's judgements about other writers often differed 
from much of the expressed opinion of his time ; but 
the expressed judgement of any time is frequently merely 
an indolent echo from some previous time ; and so much 
do all judgements require reconsideration that the history 
of literature is the history of the reconsideration of 
judgements. Butler's judgements were arrived at by 
thinking the matter out for himself. Had he been 
engaged, as Dr. Butler was, in god-fathering some such 
work as the English translation of Prince Lucien Bona- 
parte's Charlemagne^ he might — he probably would — ^have 
overpraised it as an act of friendly good-nature, but he 
would have known what he was doing ; and, as he often 


1889 said, it is only when we deceive oi^rselves that the 
Act. 53 truth is not in us. And he would have managed so 
that any impartial reader would be put upon his guard 
and made to suspect his real sentiments. 

I suppose he was a seer of visions and a dreamer of 
dreams. ' •* Life," he wrote, " is a dream, and that is 
why all great men have been dreamers." He was of 
course a poet — one of those who write in prose rather 
than in verse. As to genius — Miss Savage said he had 
it, but she would have found it as difficult as he did to 
define genius. 

When we consider the perseverance, the perception of 
the point, the generosity, straightforwardness, robustness, 
kindness of heart, sincerity and hatred of anything mean 
or unworthy, the courtliness of manner and meekness, 
the readiness to help a friend, or even an enemy, if down 
on his luck — the grandfather cannot have been more 
distinguished by these qualities than was the grandson. 

Dr. Butler again was *^ placable almost to a fault" 
and so was his grandson. I think that none of my 
readers who remember the preface to the second edition 
of EvoluAon Old and New (ante, I. pp. 370-1) will doubt 
that if Darwin had shown Butler that he had been under 
a misapprehension when he wrote chapter iv. of Unconscious 
Memory y Butler would immediately have done all in his 
power to restore the equilibrium. 

Buder saw Kennedy at Cambridge in the spring of 
1889, and talked to him about Dr. Butler. 

Dr. Butler's Temper 

About my grandfather I could get very little. I asked if he 
was passionate. Kennedy said : 

^No. I never saw him in a rage,'' and implied that he 
considered him to have had an even temper. 

I daresay he could be choleric till he had time to think ; but 
he would reflect quickly and when he had made up his mind to 
keep his temper, nothing could upset him. 

Butler was like this himself. As he grew old he was 
occasionally irascible, but I seldom saw an exhibition of 

ravii TEMPER 79 

more than momentary annoyance. There is a difference 1889 
between the irritability of a man in failing health and the ^^' ^^ 
habitual turkey-cock bad temper to which he had supposed 
his grandfather to be constitutionally subject before his 
papers showed him that it was not so. 

Mr. Booth in Five Tears in New Zealand (p. 77) 
has a passage about his having gone on ahead, and 
Butler and another man. Cook, were to join him. The 
river had to be crossed, and it was swollen ; so Booth 
sat down, concealed by a boulder, and went to sleep. 
When Butler and Cook came to the river, finding no 
trace of Booth, they concluded he must have been 
drowned, and began searching for his dead body. Booth 
woke up and laughed at them : 

Butler was hot-tempered, and anything approaching to ridicule 
where he himself was concerned was a mortal insult. He turned 
pale with passion and rode off; and I do not think he ever 
entirely forgave me for not being drowned when he had under- 
taken so much trouble to discover my body. 

Butler was then under thirty ; I did not know him 
till he was over forty. I never saw him turn "pale 
with passion.*' I have seen him made angry by some- 
thing "approaching to ridicule where he himself was 
concerned " ; but he never looked upon such ridicule as 
a <^ mortal insult," and I am sure Mr. Booth must be 
mistaken in thinking that Butler never forgave him. I 
suppose that in his youth Butler had given way to anger ; 
on recovering he saw that he had been betrayed into 
making a fool of himself; whereupon he thought it 
necessary to apologise. This must have seemed to him a 
clumsy process and caused him to adopt a different 
method. I have no doubt that when he " rode off" in 
New Zealand it was to avoid speaking till he had regained^ 
control of himself, for this was his practice when I knew 
him. If, after he had become cool, the matter appeared 
trifling, he put it away and said nothing. If he thought 
it of sufficient importance, then, but not till he had 
himself under complete control, he would enforce his 
considered views. For this purpose he would pretend to 


1889 be still angry, and would sometimes overdo it and behave 
Act 53 jj^ ^j^ extremely unpleasant manner. After making his 
position clear he would be silent. If the offender took 
the opportunity to speak a word of sorrow or apology 
Butler accepted it at once, and became as mild as a sunny 
spring morning, with such suddenness that a stranger 
could not believe he was the same man. After this the 
subject was never referred to again. But if the offender 
did not show signs of sorrow or apology Butler treated 
him for the future as a person not to be encouraged. 

The opportunities for the exercise of some of the 
qualities enumerated above were less ftequent with Butler 
than with his grandfather ; for there was one quality 
possessed by Dr. Butler which his grandson has omitted. 
Dr. Butler had the faculty of getting on with many 
different kinds of people and of guiding men ; during 
the latter half of his time at Shrewsbury he seems almost 
to have ruled the town as well as the school. I doubt 
whether the grandson would have succeeded had he 
attempted to establish and govern a great public school ; 
but then I doubt whether the grandfather would have 
succeeded had he attempted to write Erewhon or The 
Way of All Flesh or Life and Habit. Butler did not like 
to be taken off the subject that engrossed him ; for him 
and his work plenty of uninterrupted rime and complete 
tranquillity were essential It must have happened to him 
over and over again to pass a whole day without speaking 
to a dozen different people ; and that can never have 
happened to Dr. Butler, at least not during term time. 
And to make up a ftill dozen we must include omnibus 
conductors, the attendants at the British Museum who 
took his umbrella and brought him his books, the waiter 
in the restaurant, his laundress, Alfred, and me. 
4K Butler would have been distressed if he had had to 
attend to the organising, the management of under- 
masters, the conciliating of parents and all the incessant, 
uninteresting, petty details which are, I suppose, incidental 
to the life of a headmaster. Many of these details must, 
naturally, be similar to those incidental to the life of a 
man at the head of a large concern of any kind, and I 


remember thinking how unsuited Butler would have been 1889 
to the kind of life I saw in a solicitor's office, and how the ^^' ^^ 
perpetual interruptions would have worried him. But 
we must remember that Dr. Butler was not successful at 
Shrewsbury from the beginning ; for the first half of his 
time, he says, he met with hostility and bitter ill-treat- 
ment. If Butler had been placed in his grandfather's 
position he might in a few years have adapted himself 
to his surroundings and developed powers which, as it 
happened, were never called forth. But considerations of 
what might have happened under imaginary circumstances 
are seldom worth troubling about. 

During the early part of 1880 Butler was much occu- 
pied with his grandfather's Life. He went to Ken- 
nington, near Ashford, where he saw Dr. Welldon, the 
last survivor of Dr. Butler's assistant masters. He had 
followed Jeudwine as second master at Shrewsbury during 
Dr. Butler's last six months, and was afterwards head- 
master of Tonbridge. Butler found him " a very kind, 
good old gentleman." He went to Cambridge, where he 
dined in Hall at St. John's College, and where he con- 
versed with Dr. Kennedy and with Professor J. E. B. 
Mayor, John Willis Clark, and others who remembered 
Dr. Butler or his pupils, and who were interested in the 
history of his period. He went to Kenilworth and saw 
an old lady who remembered his great-grandmother, and 
he went to the School dinner at Shrewsbury. 

The house at the Holborn Gateway of Barnard's 
Inn, where my chambers were at this time, was occupied 
by Dr. Augustus GreatRex, and once, when I was ill, he 
attended me. On discovering Butler's identity GreatRex * 
told us that he remembered his grandfather, who, he 
said, gave him his first fee. This seemed incredible, for 
Dr. Butler died in 1839, and Dr. GreatRex, though an* 
elderly man, did not appear old enough to have been in 
practice fifty years ago. It turned out, however, that the 
father of Dr. GreatRex was veterinary surgeon at Eccles- 
hall, where was the palace of the Bishop of Lichfield, and 
the bishop had a nomination for Christ's Hospital, which 
had been promised him some time before. He had 

VOL. II o 


1889 intended to use it for a member of his own family but, 
Act. 53 having been appointed a bishop before it came, he thought 
such a course would be beneath his dignity, and offered 
it to the veterinary surgeon for his son. Augustus 
GreatRex accordingly was educated at Christ's Hospital. 
In his holidays he came to see his benefactor, and inquired 
after his health. The bishop, who was nearing the end of 
his life, replied : 

"Ah yes. Now, you want to be a medical man, 
don't you ? Very well then, you shall feel my pulse and 
tell me how I am. It happens, fortunately, that I am 
rather better to-day, so you can give a good report, and 
that will be satisfactory to both ofus." 

The boy did as he was told, and Dr. Butler gave him a 
couple of guineas as his fee. 

Butler, commenting on this, supposed that the old 
schoolmaster, knovnng the ways of young things and how 
they are liable to change, had performed this little 
comedy with the intention of fixing his prot6g6 in the 
desire to become a doctor. 

Except this anecdote, I do not remember that Butler 
got any information about his grandfather from Dr. Great- 
Rex, who must have been too young at the time of the 
bishop's death to remember much about him. But there 
was an anecdote about Mrs. GreatRex which pleased him. 
She was a member of an old Yorkshire family, people 
with ideas of solid comfort and good living, and famous 
for their cellar. The first words that Mrs. GreatRex 
uttered as a child were not " Mama " or " Papa " or any- 
thing of that kind but " Chiteau Margaux." 

" The Aunt, the Nieces, and the Dog" in Thi Universal 
Review for May 1889 was made out of some old letters. 
The article begins : 

When a thing is old, broken, and useless, we throw it on the 
dust-heap, but when it is sufficiently old, sufficiently broken, and 
sufficiently useless, we give money for it, put it into a museum, 
and read papers over it which people come long distances to hear. 
[After developing this theme the article continues :] I have been 
reminded lately of these considerations with more than common 
force by reading the very voluminous correspondence left by my 
grandfather. Dr. Butler^ of Shrewsbury, whose memoirs I am 

xxvii HONEST TRUTH 83 

engaged in writing. I have found a large number of interesting 1889 
letters on subjects of serious import, but must confess that it is to Act. 53 
the hardly less numerous lighter letters that I have been most 
attracted, nor do I feel sure that my eminent namesake did not 
share my predilection. Among other letters in my possession I 
have one bundle that has been kept apart, and has evidently no 
connection with Dr. Butler's own life. I cannot use these letters, 
therefore, for my book, but over and above the charm of their 
inspired spelling, I find them of such an extremely trivial nature 
that I incline to hope the reader may derive as much amusement 
from them as I have done myself, and venture to eive them the 
publicity here which I must refuse them in my book. 

This dragging in of Dr. Butler's correspondence carries 
the suggestion that he found the letters among the bishop's 
rapers. They were not among the bishop's papers, and 
Butler nowhere says they were ; he expressly says they 
have no connection with Dr. Butler's own life. Never- 
theless, while saying one thing, which is the bare fact, he 
manages to give the iinpression of something which is not 
the fact. It is one or these cases in which, as he used 
to say, " quoting from memory " — 

There are more lies in honest tmth. 
Believe me, than in half the frauds. 

He was doing what in ** Quis desiderio . . . ? " he 
naively supposes Wordsworth and Moore to have done in 
their poems about Lucy and the dear gazelle- fancier. 
Whatever justification Wordsworth and Moore may have 
had for the course they adopted, Butler's reason for putting 
his readers off the scent was that he wished to avoid the 
possibility of any of the family of those concerned being 
offended by the publication of the letters. I found them 
among the papers of an old lady who lived in Westminster. 
Now that she has been dead for more than thirty years there 
can be no harm in saying so. She was the survivor of 
two unmarried sisters, clients of the solicitors with whom 
I was working. When she wrote us a business letter she 
used to begin : ** Dear Gentlemen " ; and she appointed 
the members of the firm executors of her will. Neither 
she nor her sister had ever been in a train. She occasion- 
ally gave her nieces a day at the Crystal Palace, taking 


1889 them there and back from Westminster in a hired fly, and 
Act. 53 ^hen she and her sister went into Kent to stay with the 
aunt and the dog at East Peckham they drove all the way 
— ^about 50 miles. I was the clerk entrusted with the 
winding up of the old lady's aflfairs, and in that capacity I 
ought, strictly speaking, to have thrown these letters 
on the dust-heap, as being " old, broken, and useless " ; 
but they amused me, and I showed them to Butler. He 
was a magpie for pouncing upon anything he thought he 
could turn to account, and persuaded me to let his bureau 
be the dust-heap ; there the letters accordingly reposed 
until they had become *• sufficiently old, sufficiently broken, 
and sufficiently useless " to be displayed in the museum of 
Quilter's magazine. 

Butler had met in Italy Signor Pietro Preda, Professor 
of French in the Royal Naval Academy at Livorno. This 
gentleman had written a work, SuW idea religiosa e civile di 
Dante. Butler, in acknowledging a copy, wrote a letter, 
which I have translated. After saying that he never had 
been and never should be in complete sympathy with 
Dante, he proceeds : 

22 June 1889 — I find that those who are devoted to music 
and the arts of painting and sculpture are unwilling to turn to the 
art of literary poetry. On the other hand those who are devoted 
to the art of literary poetry are less interested in music and in the 
fine arts. I am firmly persuaded that our Shakespeare did not like 
music and knew nothing at all about the fine arts. Milton 
certainly loved music, and I admit that a man may successfully 
cultivate two of the three great provinces of poetry, namely (i) 
music ; (2) the arts that are stricdy imitative (even when they are 
also creative) j and (3) literature ; but to cultivate all three — this 
is too much. Human sympathy is not capable of embracing 
simultaneously three wives so exacting and so jealous of one 
another. For me there exist two poets. Homer and Shakespeare ; 
the others are doubtless very good sort of people but I have not, 
and never shall liave, the honour of their acquaintance. 

This is, I know, a brutal confession, but a man had better not 
pretend to have something which he has not. When I want 
poetry to set to music I write the words myself, but for the rest 
I prefer prose — prose as terse, as lucid, as sincere as I can make it. 
Those who go down into the Inferno for the purpose of seeing all 


their enemies in that place and then write their adventures in 1889 
poetry — well, to speak the truth, I have no sympathy with this Act. 53 
sort of thing. . • • 

Do you know how many copies of Ex Foto I have sold ? I 
have sold 117. I mention this that you may see how cheaply 
people think of me in England. With one exception there is no 
journal of importance that would take an article by me. Every 
book that I write falls dead before it is so much as born — every 
book that I write costs me about ^^loo sterling ; this is pure loss ; 
and over Ex VoU I shall lose at least £iS^* I have not the ear of 
any publisher ; I never invite a critic to dinner ; I do my work as 
accurately as I can ; I say what, after sufficient consideration, 
appears to me to be true and useful, and I leave everything else on . 
one side. Such writers as I oiFend against too many interests to 
go ahead or to be useful friends ; but every one is forced to act 
according to his genius. 

One cannot read this without being reminded of 
Ernest's literary position at the end of Tkf Way of All 
Flesh. The remark about his not being useful to friends 
was intended as an apology to the professor for being un- 
able to advertise the work about Dante, but he promised 
to do his best by giving it to one of the Dante Societies 
or to the British Museum. 

In July he went abroad, staying at Basel on his way as 
usual. Here he made the acquaintance of a Madame 
BischofF, a niece of his grandfather's correspondent, Baron 
Merian, who, though Ambassador from the Court of St. 
Petersburg to that of Paris, was of Swiss origin. Madame 
BischofF did not remember her uncle, but was able to give 
Butler some information for his Life of Dr. Butler, and 
also showed him some of Baron Merian's letters. From 
Basel he passed into Italy. 

Butkr to H. F. Jones. 

VoLTBRRA. 20 July 1 889 — You need never come to Volterra ; 
the walb may be Etruscan but they are not Cyclopean, and I 
only care about Cyclopean walls. Nevertheless there is a lot 
here. I don't want to write much to you for I want to put what 
I have to say into what I am writing for publication and there is 
no doubt about yom seeing that, so why should you see it more 
than ten times ? . . . There are some excellent things in Baron 
Merian's letters, but I can't understand all without a dictionary ; 


18S9 among others, ^Plus Ic fran^ais est aimable, moins il sent les 
Aet. 53 beaux arts." Don't send this about too much, but isn't it nice ? 
The Basel people have sub-blasphemed me in their new cata- 
logue [about the Holbein water-colour] so I had better tear them 
to pieces in the October or November number of Tht Universal 

It seems the man who made the best figures at S. Vivaldo was 
blind. Of course I don't know whether they are good or bad, 
but a blind sculptor should do for 77i/ Universal Review ; at any 
rate it will provoke people if I serve them up a blind sculptor. I 
really don't think there can have been many blind sculptors. 

The blind sculptor was known as II Cieco di Sgambassi, 
and some of his sculptures were good — done perhaps 
before the poor man lost his eyesight. 

Butler found Siena " an astounding place," but did 
not sta;^ ; he went on to Motttc Olivcto to live wth the 
monks for a few days. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Monte Oliveto. 3 Jug. 1889 — ^The monks are only two, 
one black and the other white ; the Padre Abate is black, Don 
Giuseppe is white. They call me Don Samuele. I don't like 
their food, especially on Fridays, but they are very kind and 
, friendly. They have a most scandalous coloured print in the 
refectory : How Jesus Christ was feasted by the angels after his 
fast in the desert. The angels are all demi-monde Ixillet-dancers, 
only with less clothing than ballet-dancers generally wear. They 
are in the most suggestive attitudes and attended by a swarm of 
cupids. They carry any. number of silver salvers with nothing on 
them ; but one angel is actually offering Christ a bun (for I am 
sure it is nothing but a common railway-station-refreshment-room 
bun) and a botde of aerated water. Christ is looking up to 
heaven with a resigned expression, as though saying he ^ could do 
with a kidney '' ; but I suppose the angek thought that, after so 
long a fast, he must be fed with great caution. 

The cats, about 15 in number, are all half-starved and go 
about showing hunger in every gesture. 

Paolino, their servant, is a worthy, affectionate creature to 
whom they pay 10 francs a month. He is like the man- 
milliner Gogin used to tell us about: ^^I wish my ma had 
married yoit^ Mr. Taylor.'' He hates the monks : they bully him 
when I am by. He hates Don Giuseppe most. He says that 
the Abate and Don Giuseppe hate one another. Of course they 
do, what would they have to do if they did not ? He pours out 


«vii **LADAKSE'* 87 

his soul, what little there is of it, to me and I let him talk 18S9 
because I see it relieves him. . . . ^^^' 53 

I am very glad to have spent a week here, and got to understand 
the place. 

It may perhaps be doubted whether every other 
visitor ^* got to understand the place " in this sense in so 
short a time as a week. 

He went to S. Gimignano and CoUe di Val d' Elsa, 
hoping always to find traces of Tabachetti. From Pisa 
he went to Chivasso, where he was told of a sanctuary 
certainly containing work by Tabachetti, but it turned 
out that his informants were thinking of Crea. He went 
to Biella, Oropa, where there is a sanctuary with statues, 
S. Giovanni di Andorno, and Varallo. * 

Busier to H. F. Jones. 

Varallo. 7 Sept. 1889— I got some trifles at Oropa, two 
little holy-water holders, very small with black Madonnas, three 
coloured black Madonnas under glass, and two bottles with all 
Christ's crucifixings or crucifixion-fixings inside them, corked up, 
so that you can see them and think about them, and they won't 
lie about and get dusty. 

I joined him at Varallo, and we came home together, 
first returning to Oropa to take photographs of some of 
the statues, and staying on our way at V arese, Faido, and 

In November 1889 The Universal Review published 
•*L* Affaire Holbein- Rippel," by Buder. Among the 
Birmann pictures in the Museum at Basel is a water- 
colour drawing representing a string of dancing peasants ; 
it was stated in the catalogue to be a copy by Jerome Hess 
of part of the decoration designed by Holbein for a house 
in Basel, called the ** Haus zum Tanz," demolished some 
years ago. Whenever he passed through Basel Butler 
revisited this drawing. He made a copy of it so long ago 
as 1 871, and during each of the years 1884-5-6 spent 
two days continuing to work on his copy. At last, in 
1886, it seemed to him that the catalogue must b^ wrong 
in supposing the picture to be a copy ; it was too free 



1S89 and certainly could not be by Hess — at least it was much 
Act. 54 better than other work by that artist. The authorities 
showed him a photograph of a Holbein drawing at Berlin 
which, according to the received opinion, was used by 
Holbein when he painted the house, unless he used some 
intermediate drawing ; and it was stated in the catalogue 
that Hess made the water-colour at Basel as a copy from 
the house itself. Investigation, however, showed that the 
decorations on the house had disappeared before Hess 
was born, so that part of the story was certainly wrong. 
Butler came to the conclusion that Holbein himself made 
both the drawings, and that he had made the Basel 
drawing direct from the Berlin drawing, the resemblance 
negativing the supposition of an intermediate hand and 
of a lost intermediate version ; while the modifications 
negatived the supposition that any one but Holbein 
himself could have made the two drawings. 

On this subject he had a correspondence with Sir W. 
Martin Conway, who was then Professor of Art at 
University College, Liverpool, and who included photo- 
graphs of the Berlin and the Basel drawings in an 
Exhibition of the work of Holbein in the Art Club. 
Butler had the satisfaction of finding that Sir Martin 
Conway agreed with him as to the Basel drawing being 
by Holbein, though he took the Berlin drawing to be a 
copy from the house. 

Butler published a card with photographs from the 
two drawings, with his views upon the matter and his 
reasons for holding them. 

In The Universal Review for December 1889 appeared 
** A Medieval Girl School," which is a description of some 
of the chapels at Oropa, and especially of the one called 
the Dimora or Sojourn of the Madonna in the Temple. 

ff AFTER XXVI 1 1 

\T»R POINT AyA) l ■ 
OF KV'OLUTf, '\ 

i *!' •• hiivj met .'• •■ . 

■ i.^'i to CO Hit- '.. 

• -• rr wno, !:» • - 

V. . , , 

: . L-r {'Sup. Is r 

• 1 J. v. 44 I. . < 

.•:.i in j'l. '. '' 
' ! 'hood, •>: ' * • 

. x<H)k to (/•• .- • '• , 
. »f lessons. I ■ • r .' • 

V" and firf [ '. ■ i ' 'i. 

•V -iC to 

'. c i r.ur 
• : i.- ! in 

-Ih**: we 

% « 

r*is note ••: 

't • 

V Ri'^-^t PM \Ni ^* .\i ^: I 

^ t 


'.: Pica ri.'f'^ .i /«*w w. 'k.^ o.i. > -i - 

- J/ — 

■. "A 




During 1888 or 1889, at the house of Miss Bertha 1890 
Thomas, we met Mademoiselle Gabrielle Vaillant. As ^^^' ^* 
the reader knows, Buder had met her years before at Miss 
Savage's. I also had met her at my mother's house in 
London^ where she used to come to give lessons on the 
violin to my elder sister, who, however, did not proceed 
far with the violin, and began to learn the zither. I 
remember Mademoiselle Vaillant's scorn and anger when 
she heard that one of her pupils had given up the violin 
for that contemptible instrument, the zither. She was a 
performer of considerable attainments and of great taste, 
but seldom appeared in public because, owing to an 
accident in her childhood, she was lame. She made her 
living by teaching, and had a wide circle of pupils. She 
very kindly undertook to give me lessons on the viola — 
literally to give me lessons, for she would not allow me to 
pay. We saw a great deal of her, and often went to her 
house, where she and her pupils sometimes played our 
music through. Her health broke down, and she died in 
1899, at the age of forty-six. 

In 1889 Butler was asked to sign a petition — but we 
may as well have his note about it : 

Mrs. Rossetti and " Almost ** 

Mrs. W. M. Rossetti, nie Madox Brown (whom by the way 
I hardly know) sent me a note a few weeks Ixick desiring me to 


90 « ALMOST " xxviii 

1890 come and sign a memorial in order to get a pension for her sister 
Aet 54 rDr. HueiFer's widow). Dr. HueiFer was musical critic for The 
Times and oueht to have insured his life, but it seems he had not 
done so, and Mrs. HueiFer must therefore have a pension. I did 
not like signing. I knew nothing of Dr. Hueffer, except that he 
would have snarled at my music if he had ever taken any notice 
of it, which he assuredly did not. I shall never get any public 
money myself and am therefore naturally jealous of seeing others 
get it. The people who get pensions are invariably those who 
are most bitter and contemptuous towards myself; nevertheless 
I thought that to sign would be, as Jones expressed it, '^the 
smoothest progression open to me " ; accordingly I said I would 
call and sign which, at the appointed hour, I did. 

She, of course, was on her good behaviour ; so was I, for 
there is no use in doine things by halves. We deplored the 
rapid flight of time, and Mrs. Rossetti said she felt as though her 
life had passed by and she had nothing to show for it. I said 
that was exactly how I felt myself. 

^Oh no,'* she exclaimed immediately, ^you have really almtst 
something to show for your life." 

I had hard work to prevent laughing, but turned it ofF, and I 
don't think she noticed it 

Dr. HuefFer being dead, Mr. J. A. Fuller Maitland 
followed him as musical critic for The Times^ and one 
afternoon, early in the year, when I went to Mademoiselle 
Vsdllant's for my lesson on the viola, I found him with 
her and was introduced. They were rehearsing some- 
thing they were to play together at a charity concert, and 
when they had finished he began at once talking to me 
about Narcissus^ of which we had sent a copy to The 
Times. He questioned me about our music^ studies, 
and, finding that, as he had suspected, neither Butler nor 
I had ever done any exercises in counterpoint, he strongly 
urged us to study under that learned musician and incom- 
parable teacher, William Smith Rockstro (i 823-1 895). 
I talked the proposal over with Butler, who did not much 
like the idea of lessons, and was busy with his Life of Dr. 
Butler ; it was settled, however, that no harm could come 
of my taking a kw lessons and reporting to him. I 
accordingly began a course of medieval counterpoint with 
Rockstro, and in a few weeks Butler became so much 
interested in what I told him that nothing would do but 




he must have lessons also. I was a little nervous as to x»9o 
what this might lead to, because Rockstro was a pupil of ^^^ 5* 
Mendelssohn, whose Life he had written, and among his 
fellow- pupils, besides Joachim and Otto Goldschmidt, 
had been Madame Schumann. We did a great many 
exercises in the ecclesiastical modes, and composed a few 
academic fugues, and Butler readily forgave Rockstro's 
association with Mendelssohn an^ Madame Schumann and 
also any troublesome pedantry, because he found him to be 
as devoted a lover as himself of Handel, whose Life he had 
also written. There was never a lesson without frequent 
references to Handel. I found among Butler's papers 
this passage in an early draft of his song, ** Tears of Joy ** 
in our oratorio Ulysses : 

And on the MS., in Rockstro's writing, is this characteristic 
note about the two B's in the last bar : 

This passage is written quite correcdy ; but according to the 
practice of the eighteenth century, C must be sung instead of the 
first B. This is what Handel would have insisted upon, throwing 
Cuzzoni out of the window for disobedience. 

Rockstro spoke of modern music as "licentious" — 
meaning not that modern composers were dissolute fellows, 

92 ROCKSTRO xxvm 

1S90 but that, instead of being satisfied with the pane quotidiano 

Act. 54 Qf ^jjg rules, varied with occasional licenses, they wrote 

their music in licenses and paid litde attention to the rules. 

The classical illustration of the contrast is afforded by 

Handel and Bach. 

** Bach,'* Rockstro said, ** is taking niggling, restless, 
litde irritating licenses all the time for no particular 
reason ; Handel follows JLhe rules with loving obedience 
and, when he does take a license, takes a good big one 
for a dramatic reason, and the effect is overwhelming." 

This placing of Handel above Bach completed 
Rockstro's conquest of Butler, and they became great 

Buder told him about Freck, the shepherd at Langar, 
who, he was sure, slept with his face upwards (ante, I. p. 
40). Freck used to ask Butler if he could ^* prick him 
out*' this or that part. To prick out a part is a relic 
of speech handed down from days when the notes were 
actually pricked, hence prick-song and counterpoint, and 
to know that Butler had actually heard the phrase as a 
survival, and not as an imitation, naturally interested 

We talked about Schubert and his studying Handel's 
oratorios, and being thereby led to recognise his own 
deficiencies in counterpoint and to determine to take a 
course of lessons from the leading authority of his time, 
and we wondered what would have been the effect on his 
music if he had lived. Rockstro, however, was more 
interested in Schubert from a rather different point of 

"Ah," he exclaimed wistfully, ** what a pupil he would 
have made ! " 

Rockstro was a devout Roman Catholic, but that did 
not prevent him from occasionally indulging in what 
Butler speaks of as " the mild irreverence of the Vicar's 
daughter" {The Authoress of the Odyssey y p. 247), and he 
told us an anecdote about JuUien, the famous writer of 
dance-music. Late in life JuUien went mad, and proposed 
to set the Lord's Prayer to music. His friends endeavoured 
to dissuade him, but he was obstinate, and declared that 


such a collaboration must be a great success ; it would 1890 
bring t(^cthcr the names of the two greatest men the ^^ ^^ 
world had ever seen. 

** Think of the title-page," he urged, ** * The Lord's 
Prayer. Words by Jesus Christ. Music by JuUien.' " 

One day Rockstro said to me : 

" Now there is something I want to ask you. Butler 
has lent me Erewhon and I want you to tell me — ^what 
does he mean by the musical banks ? Does he mean the 

I said he did. 

" Oh," sdd Rockstro meditatively, " well — well then 
Ah ! I see — yes — well then, it's very clever'^ 

The fact that Rockstro was a devout Roman Catholic 
can hardly have been the reason why he did not see at 
once what was intended. Many other readers had the 
same difficulty, and yet Butler used to say that he had 
hesitated to let the chapter go as it stands, the satire 
seemed so much too obvious. 

On the 15th of March 1890 Butler delivered a lecture 
at the Working Men's College, Great Ormond Street, on 
** Thought and Language." He afterwards revised it, and 
delivered it again in February 1894 at the Somerville Club, 
and it was published in 1904 in Essays on Life^ Art^ and 
Science. Charles Crawley was interested in the Working 
Men's College, and I suppose it must have been through 
him that Butler was asked to lecture there. He was a 
barrister, who had specialised in insurance law, and he knew 
both Edmund and Harry Gurney, who are mentioned 
ante, I. p. 23 1 ; probably Butler knew him through these 
brothers. Butler discovered while writing his grandfather's 
life that Crawley was the son of Archdeacon Crawley who, 
before his death in January 1896, in his ninety-fourth year, 
was the oldest surviving pupil of Dr. Butler {Life of Dr. 
Buikr^ I. 307). Crawley and Harry Gurney shared rooms 
over the office of a large insurance company in Regent 
Street. They knew Mrs. Alfred Bovill, and brought her 
to Butler's lecture ; when it was over we all went to 
Crawley's rooms. This was the first time I saw Mrs. 
Bovill, but I have a dim recollection of having heard 


1890 Butler mention her before this occasion ; it may have 
^^ 5^ been in connection with the rehearsals for a revival of 
Gluck's Orfeo at Cambridge, in May 1890, when she took 
the principal part and performed it extremely well. 

After this first meeting at the Working Men's College 
we frequently saw Mrs. Alfred Bovill, who was at this 
time having singing lessons of Rockstro. She was a 
daughter ofthe Rev. Charles Clarke, another of Dr. Butler's 
pupils and the author of many novels. Mrs. Bovill told 
Butler that in one of these novels, The Beauclercs Father and 
Son (Chapman & Hall, 1867) her father introduced 
reminiscences of his school-days, including a sketch of Dr. 
Butler, under the name of Dr. Armstrong. Butler quoted 
the passage in the Introduction to the life of his grand- 
father, but he made the mistake of speaking of Mr. Clarke 
as Rector of Esher ; he lived there, but was not rector. His 
daughter wrote to me ist January 1 9 1 3 : "He was for many 
years in Northants after leaving Oxford, and was a great 
sportsman ; then he came to Esher and took boys to read for 
the army. Many an idiot has he shoved through — and he 
a classical scholar and a real wit ! " On page 1 60 of The 
Authoress ofthe O^iJ^ Butler gives another quotation from 
The Beauclercs — a description of Shrewsbury under the 
name of Grammerton. 

Butler liked Mrs. Bovill's outspoken directness and 
straightforwardness ; they became great friends, and 
remained so until a cloud arose between them ; and soon 
afterwards, in 1898, she married the Hon. Richard Cecil 

In 1 9 1 1 Mrs. Grosvenor and I resumed our friendship, 
and I ventured to tell her of a passage I found in Butler's 
Note-Books : 

I said in my novel [ The Way tf All Flesh] that the clergyman 
is a kind of human Sunday. Jones and I settled that my sister 
May was a kind of human Good Friday and Mrs. Bovill a human 
Easter Monday or some other Bank Holiday. 

I sent her this in a letter and said, ** I hope you don't 
mind." She replied, 29th April 1912, **Mind! I should 
think not indeed. Oh, if only he had written that to me 1 


I am so pleased he thought of me as a Bank Holiday." 1890 
And at the Erewhon dinner in 19 14 she made a speech, ^^*' ^^ 
and quoted the note, saying it was the greatest compliment 
that had ever been paid her in words. 

In April, May, and June 1890 The Universal Review 
published three articles by Butler entitled ^' The Deadlock 
in Darwinism/* The occasion for writing them was 
afforded by the publication in 1889 of Mr. Alfred Russel 
Wallace's Darwinism^ and they discuss the question 
expressed in the title of Luck or Cunning f The follow- 
ing extracts from two letters to his old schoolfellow Mr. 
S. H. Bur bury, F.R.S., will show their tenour. 

Butler to S. H. Burbury, F.R.S. 

26 yune 1890— The trouble as contended by Herbert Spencer, 
Mivart, and many odiers is that variations, no matter how favour- 
able, will not accumulate, unless steady and in the same direction 
for many consecutive generations. 

Variations due to kaleidoscopic rearrangement, though in- 
cessantly occurring and, as unquestionably, sometimes fortunate 
beyond all power of design, will not accumulate, inasmuch as the 
very fertility of variation, inherent in all organisms, and the infinite 
number of ways, at any rate among the metazoa, in which 
variations can be variable make the chances infinity to one against 
the persistence of the necessary correlations. 

If there is a principle underlying variations that will keep up 
a constant supply of the same correlations with but occasionsd 
introduction of none save comparatively small modifications, we 
believe that accumulation of beneficial variations is a matter of 
course. If there is no such principle — ^and the denial of such a 
principle is the very essence of Charles Darwinism — we hold that 
the whole fabric of accumulated variations is visionary. 

I grant as readily as you can wish that when Charles Darwin 
speaks of ^ fortuitous *' he only means due to unknown causes, but 
it is clear he^upposes these causes to be of the happy-go-lucky 
order. We, on the other Band, maintain that we know the causes 
with sufficient approach to certainty ; that they are capable of 
achieving the result we attribute to them ; and that, so far as we 
can see, there are no other forces in nature that can do the same. 

You said, the other day, you hardly thought Charles Darwin 
knew the strength of his own position. I, on the other hand, 
imagine he showed abundant signs that he knew its weakness. 

z ou say you have taken no interest in the manner in which 


1890 variations occur. We say that this is precisely the point at issue, 
Act. 54 for that the question of their conceivable accumulation turns on 
this. If they originate in one main way persistently, if they have 
a helm, they will steer straight ; if they are without the rudder of 
an underlying principle they will drift and the gain of one 
generation will be lost through the greater gain in some non- 
correlated direction in the next. It will be Penelope's web — ever 
doing and undoing with no progress. 

I stop here m order to keep the issues within narrower 
bounds. At the same time I venture to send you Evolution Old 
and New and Unconscious Memory^ books to which I have never 
seen any reply attempted beyond mere coarse vituperation. I 
would ask you more especially to look at the opening chapters 
and the four last chapters of Evolution Old and New and the con- 
cluding one of Unconscious Memors, What I rather feel is that I 
have been writing books now so long, and show such little sign 
of leaving ofF, that Charles Darwinians would surely put a stopper 
on me if they could. The fact that they prefer to take the line 
of knowing nothing about it has given me some confidence that 
they have not got much to say, and, I fear, may have increased 
a natural predisposition to stick, right or wrong, to my own 
opinion. Of course we all go on very much as gropers in the 
dark, but I know no safer ground to stand on than that of 
general good- faith and straightforwardness. I have so often 
found Charles Darwin neglectful of every canon I have myself 
been taught to respect that his name carries no weight with me, 
and I am not disposed to attach much importance to him or to 
his work unless in those, by no means infrequent, cases in which 
he is obviously unbiassed and gives his evidence. Then, of 
course, no one's opinion is better worth having. 

Penultimately, of course there are limits. There is degenera- 
tion, on the one hand, from indolence and disuse \ on the other, 
there is exhaustion from over-exertion. But between these two 
there is a serviceable quantum of use and, provided exhaustion 
has not been seriously trenched on, I should say the greater and 
more persistent the use, the better for the organ in the offspring 
^bar disturbing causes. 

Finally, my dear Burbury, when and where did I ever say 
such, pardon me, nonsense as that there is ^^a conscious purpose 
running through the whole " universe ? I know nothing about 
such things and, if there is a purpose at all, it seems to me more 
like an unconscious than a conscious one ; but it is all miles off 
my ground. My contention is that, though the amoeba did not 
foresee the man, yet it is mainly through the foreseeing of the very 
little that organism can alone foresee at each point in its progress 
that the results we see have been brought about. Hence, each 


step of the road having been purposeful, the whole journey has 1890 
been purposeful, though the purpose has been growing and Aet. 54 
varjring all the time. I do not suppose that anything foresaw 
man from afar and worked towards him. It may have been so. 
But I see abundant evidence of the first kind of purpose and 
none whatever of the second. 

27 June 1890 • • . You contend that the accumulation of 
haphazard variations will account for what we see. I do not 
think it would or conceivably could. I can adduce sufficient (to 
my thinking) evidence that the variations are not haphazard and, 
even though it were conceivable that Luck might do it all in the 
end (which, by the way, I cannot conceive) surely Cunning will 
do it more quickly and more certainly. And what difficulty 
attaches to the Cunning view if memory be supposed persistent 
between generations ? — within, of course, the limits to which all 
memory is subject. 

As he says in one of the articles : " To state this 
doctrine [the haphazard view] is to arouse instinctive 
loathing ; it is my fortunate task to maintain that such 
a nightmare of waste and death is as baseless as it is 

"The Deadlock in Darwinism" concludes with a 
summary of the theory propounded in Life and Habit. 
The articles constitute a kind of codicil to his four evolu- 
tion books and were republished in 1 904 in Essays on 
Life^ Arty and Science. He never published anything 
more about evolution but, if he had met with any serious 
attempt to show wherein the theory of Life and Habit 
required modification, it might have led to his writing 
more. He made a note of Materials for the Study of 
Variation by Professor Bateson, published in 1894, as a 
book to be read, but I do not find any evidence that he 
actually read it ; probably he was by then too deeply 
engrossed in the Odyssey and the Life of Dr. Butler. He 
could not have failed to be interested in all that was being 
done and written after the re-discovery of Mendel's 
work ; and that he would have been especially interested 
in all that relates to mutation and discontinuous variation 
will appear from this passage in God the Known and God 
the Unknown (pp. 14, 15) originally written in 1879 : 

Under these circumstances organism must act in one of two 





1890 ways i it must either change slowly and continuously with the 

Aet. 54 surroundings, paying cash for everything, meeting the smallest 

charge with a corresponding modification so far as is found 

convenient ; or it must put off change as long as possible and 

then make larger and more sweeping changes. 

Both these courses are the same in principle, the difference 
being only one of scale, and the one being a miniature of the 
other, as a ripple is an Atlantic wave in little ; both have their 
advantages and disadvantages, so that most organisms will take 
one course for one set of things and the other for another. They 
will deal promptly with things which they can get at easily, and 
which lie more upon the surface 3 those, however, which are 
more troublesome to reach, and lie deeper, will be handled upon 
more cataclysmic principles, being allowed longer periods of 
repose followed by short periods of greater activity. Animals 
breathe and circulate their blood by a little action many times a 
minute ; but they feed, some of them, only two or three times a 
day, and breed for the most part not more than once a year, 
their breeding season being much their busiest time. It is on the 
first principle that the modification of animal forms has proceeded 
mainly ; but it may be questioned whether what is called a sport is 
not the organic expression of discontent which has been long felt, 
but which has not been attended to, nor been met step by step by 
as much small remedial modification as was found practicable ; so 
that, when a change does come it comes by way of revolution. 
Or, again (only that it comes to much the same thing) a sport 
may be compared to one of those happy thoughts which some- 
times come to us unbidden after we have been thinking for a 
long time what to do, or how to arrange our ideas, and have yet 
been unable to arrive at any conclusion. 

Butler went abroad in July, and arranged his journey 
so as to be at Furnes, where he saw a procession of the 
Passion, on the last Sunday of the month. He had heard 
of this from Mademoiselle Vaillant, who was a native of 
the North of France and had written him a long account 
of it. He next went to Dinant and Namur, to continue 
his investigations about Tabachetti, and then, via Basel 
and Goeschenen and over the Furka by Gletsch and Visp, 
to Saas F6e, where there are chapels with small wooden 
figures in them, which from what he had heard he thought 
might be by Tabachetti. He stayed some time photo- 
graphing and making up his mind about the figures ; he 
also went to Vispcrtiminen, where there are more figures, 
" all of them very bad indeed." 



At Saas he made the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. 1890^ 
MacCarthy, who were staying in the hotel with their son, ^^' ^* 
an Eton boy. One day the father and son had been for 
an excursion and the father returned alone. The anxious 
mother, hearing that her boy had preferred speculating in 
short cuts to accompanying his rather, borrowed a red 
umbrella to make herself conspicuous and went out ** to 
look for Desmond." Presently she came upon Butler 
loaded up with his camera and toiling along on his way 
back after a fatiguing day. He told her he had seen a 
little white figure among the trees on the mountain side 
and had no doubt it was her son who, he assured her, 
would be all right, and he himself was loitering, intending 
to be overtaken so that they might arrive at the hotel 

" You see," he explained, " 1 know he will be late for 
dinner and it may make things a little easier for him if he 
does not come in alone." 

Years afterwards Mrs. MacCarthy told me that she 
had been reading The Way of All Fleshy and had 
remembered this incident and for the first time had 
understood why Butler thought that her son would 
require the presence of an elderly gentleman to protect 
him fi-om his parents if he came in late for dinner. 

**The idea," she excldmed indignantly, "the idea of 
supposing that my boy had been brought up like Ernest ! " 

Other English visitors were also at Saas. The follow- 
ing passage occurs in Notes from a Knapsack^ by George 
Wherry (Cambridge : Bowes & Bowes, 1909). 

An impression of a stranger kneeling at a shrine often occurs 
to me. He was looking through the little grating of a chapel, 
one of the many that mark the stations on the high footpath to 
Saas F^e. 

At first I thought him to be a devoted penitent, until a 
nearer view proclaimed a shabby wanderer with a camera. We 
greeted one another politely enough to share the view of the 
coloured wooden figures of the sleeping disciples, and almost 
instandy I realised that the man was one of a thousand. He had 
examined all the figures in all the chapels, and had spent many 
days on the other side of the mountains, in Italy, wherever sucii 
work could be found, and had made photographs as he travelled. 


1890 He poured out a continuous flow of art appreciation and, it 
Aet. 54 seemed to me, made original and striking observations. He 
presented me with a photograph of a sleeping Joseph, from a 
figure carved by an artist named Tabachetti with whose work in 
luly he was familiar, and compared it with a sleeping effigy 
before us. He then told me the story of the artist's hfe, and 
concluded that the sculptor had been compelled to leave his 
country in some political crisis and on his way over the Monte 
Moro pass, had made a stay at Saas, and had carved certain of 
the figures which my stranger pointed out. He proved to be 
Samuel Butler, the author of ErewhoHy who thought that 
Nausicaa wrote the Odyssey^ and some time after [before] my 
interview with him brought out a book called Alps and Sanc- 
tuaries^ on the shrines of Italy. Among English villages he had 
walked several thousands of miles, adding to his list of things 
worth seeing in villages and farm-houses, and always finding 
new charms in the old country. Enshrined in the best tablet of 
my mind is the short time spent with Butler, who proved a most 
entertaining traveller, and with whose wanderings and ponderings 
I have the greatest sympathy. These few lines may be taken as 
a passing tribute to his memory. 

The reader may imagine with what emotion I came 
upon this description of Butler charming a stranger with 
the magic of his enthusiasm — doing what I have seen him 
do I know not how oft. They never met again, but after 
Butler's death I made Mr. Wherry's acquaintance at 
Cambridge and thanked him for this passage in his book. 

From Saas Butler crossed the Simplon and stayed at 
Domodossola to sec the sanctuary there, which he found 
about on a level with that at Orta in interest, but with 
nothing so good as " The Canonization of St. Francis " 
which is at Orta. Then he went to Varallo, where I joined 
him and we stayed some time making excursions and 
reconsidering the chapels. We went next to Biella to 
have another look at Oropa which is near ; then to the 
sanctuary above Lenno on the Lake of Como and, after 
calling at Mendrisio, Faido, and Basel, returned to London. 

In November 1890 The Universal Review contained 
" Art in the Valley of Saas," which Butler wrote on his 
return, and in December " Ramblings in Cheapside," in 
which he recounts meeting people so closely resembling 
celebrated personages of past times that he always thought 


of them as their more illustrious prototypes. In this way 1890 
he saw Francis I. of France and our own Henry VIII., ^^^ ^^ 
RafFaelle, Handel himself, Michael Angelo ("I never saw 
a man dance so much in my life "), Dante, Mendelssohn 
(making an offer of marriage to his cook in a fresco on 
the terrace of the Albergo Grotta Crim6e at Chiavenna), 
Beethoven, Socrates, Horace, and others including Mary 
Queen of Scots, who " wears surgical boots and is subject 
to fits near the Horse Shoe in Tottenham Court Road." 
He saw Michael Angelo another time and made this note : 

I saw him again later on, in another mood and in another 
place, for the great dead live again in all their moods. This time 
he was biting his middle finger and talking cruelly to himself. 

This was the last number of The Universal Review^ 
and this is a list of Butler *s articles in it with the dates 
when they appeared : 

Quis Desiderio . . . ? 

A Sculptor and a Shrine 

The Aunt, the Nieces, and the Dog 

L' Affaire Holbein-Rippel 

A Medieval Girl School . 

The Deadlock in Darwinism, I. 

The Deadlock in Darwinism, II. 

The Deadlock in Darwinism, III. 

Art in the Valley of Saas 

Ramblings in Cheapside . 

July 1888 
November 1888 
May 1889 
November 1889 
December 1889 
April 1890 
May 1890 
June 1890 
November 1890 
December 1890 

In republishing these articles in 1 904 in Essays on Life^ 
Arty and Science^ and in 1 9 1 3 in The Humour of Homer and 
other Essay Sy such parts of " A Sculptor and a Shrine " as 
referred to Tabachetti were omitted because the researches 
of the Avvocato Negri had shown that they required con- 
siderable modification ; and " L* Affaire Holbein-Rippel " 
was omitted because it wanted illustrations. On the 
other hand, two lectures are included which were not in 
The Universal Review^ viz., the one mentioned earlier in 
this chapter on " Thought and Language," and another 
which he delivered at the Somerville Club on the 27th of 
February 1895, "How to make the Best of Life" — a 
subject about which he began by declaring that he knew 
nothing : 



1890 I do not even know how to make the best of the twenty 

Act ss minutes that your Committee has placed at my disposal. • • . 

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the 

instrument as one goes on. One cannot make the best of such 


This Christmas Butler went with his solicitor Russell 
Cooke to Boulogne. He said afterwards that he did not 
like doing so ; "it interfered with the healthy distrust 
which ought always to exist between a man and his 




Butler to Miss Butler. 

14 Feb. 1 891 — Alfred and I were in the dark-room, making 1891 
slides. I was afraid of exposing the same plate twice and said : Aet. 55 

^ Now, Alfred, we must be careful. I am afraid I shall get 

Alfred replied ; " Yes, Sir, you will, but / am here " — all 
said quite imconsciously. 

Yesterday he said : '' Let me look. Sir ; yes, perhaps I shall 
see that you have your hair cut to-morrow." 

This afternoon I am to call on the Tillbrooks, so this 
morning he examined my hair and said reproachfully : 

^ Oh no. Sir, you can't go ; it's all ragged, it won't do at all. 
You can go to Mr. Skinner's in the Turnstile as you go to the 
Museum, if you like ^ or, if you haven't done it then, I'll have a 
cup of cofFee for you at half-past two and then you can go down 
to Mr. Hunt's — that's how I'll settle it. Don't forget." 

And then he looks perfectly satisfied. Of course I went to 
Mr. Skinner's straight away, for I knew if I didn't I must go to 
Mr. Hunt's and I might as well get it over. 

Mr. J. D. Enys to Butler. 

Mesopotamia [New Zealand], 
May 7, 1 891. 

Dear Butler — ^I have ridden up here from Mount Peel just 
to see the old place again. Your old hut is still standing, nearly 
as you left it, but the bedrooms thrown into one. It is used as 
kitchen and married couple's quarters. Your old kitchen was 
burnt down some years since. A new house has been built 
a little nearer your old kitchen than the old hut, and about 



1891 50 feet more out towards the Rangitata. Trees close the whole 
Aet. ss place in on both sides and back, in front some fine Insignis ^ 
stand near the edge and you look under them as the branches are 
cut near the ground. It must be about 27 years since I was last 
here, just as Brabazon was putting down the floor of the then 
new shed which had not been used. McMillan, the present 
owner, shears over 20,000 sheep and has 2,000 acres of freehold. 
He grows turnips and oats and cuts oaten hay enough for his 
horses. I rode today up to the old bush which has been all 
burnt except the Forest Creek end by an accidental fire, most 

The crops are grown across Jason's gully and this year have 
been ^ood. Sheep looking well also. 

Mjuiy thanks for the autograph you have so kindly re- 
membered to save for me of C. J. Blomfield.' I will call for it 
and a talk over old times in the autumn if I live to come home 
all right. I am visiting old friends before leaving and find it 
hard to part. 

[After saying that he had sold out and was coming home, he 

If you came out again you would see many changes — trees 
growing round all the houses on the plains, gravel-pits planted all 
over the place, and water-races running into nearly all the fields 
from Christchurch to Timaru, indeed without them, this last 
three dry years, stock would have died or had to be sent away. 

Have been a round trip of 16 days to the Chatham Islands to 
see my old friend Chudleigh who has long been settled there. I 
had as a companion the new bishop of Christchurch — such a 
pleasant man, full of fun, etc. of all kinds. 

Have written fi-om your old home as I often think of you 
here. — Yours sincerely, John D. Enys. 

We had by this time made some progress with our 
oratorio Ulysses. Butler knew he had failed as a painter and 
thought he knew why. " If," as he wrote on his picture, 
" Family Prayers," " If I had gone on doing things out 
of my own head, instead of making studies, I should have 
been all right.** He might fail also in music, but it 
should not be for the same reason. Writing exercises 
for Rockstro in medieval counterpoint might lead to his 
becoming an expert writer of exercises, which would have 

^ ProfeMor G. S. Sale told me that the Pinna Inaignia was introduced into the 
colony from America after Butler's time, and Mr. J. D. Enys told me that those at 
Mesopotamia were planfed by Mr. Campbell. 

' He was Bishop of London and Butler saved the autograph from among Dr. 
Butler's papers. 


been useful if he had wanted to teach others to give 1S91 
lessons in counterpoint, but he wanted to compose music ^^ ss 
for himself and this could only be done by composing. 
" Do not learn to do, but learn in doing." The doing of 
the music was, however, interfered with by the Life of 
Dr. BuileTy which occupied him very closely. I had there- 
fore undertaken to make a start by selecting episodes from 
the poem and arranging the order of the songs and choruses. 
For this purpose, seeing that I out-Shakespeare Shakespeare 
in the smallness of my Greek, I used The Adventures of 
Ulysses by Charles Lamb, a work of whose existence we 
should have known nothing if Butler had not stumbled 
upon Ainger's book about Lamb at Wilderhope (ante, 
p. 38). We were to collaborate in writing the words ; 
it ended however in Butler*s writing nearly all the 
words himself, as he had done for Narcissus. As to the 
music, we each chose such parts of the words as we 
preferred and composed our music separately, so that we 
were able to initial each number. Butler accepted my 
proposals for the general scheme of the whole but, when 
he had time, he looked again at the Odyssey in the 
original, just to make sure that Lamb had not misled me. 
He had not forgotten all his classics and found the 
original poem so delightful that he could not put it down. 

Fascinated, however, as I at once was by its amazing interest 
and beauty, I had an ever-present sense of a something that was 
eluding me and of a riddle which I could not read. The more I 
reflected upon the words, so luminous and so transparent, the 
more I felt a darkness behind them that I must pierce before I 
could see the heart of the writer — and this was what I wanted \ 
for art is only interesting in so far as it reveals an artist. ( The 
Authoress of the Odyssey^ p. 6.) 

To assist in clearing up the mystery, he set about 
translating the poem into prose "with the same 
benevolent leaning (say) towards Tottenham Court Road 
that Messrs. Butcher and Lang have shown towards 
Wardour Street." When he came to the Phaeacian 
episode he felt sure that the writer was drawing from 
life. The idea that he might be reading the words of a 
blind bard living in the servants* hall quieted him for 



1 89 1 some time. " It was not till I got to Circe that it flashed 
^^' ^^ upon me that I was reading the work not of an old man 
but of a young woman.*' 

In July he started for his summer holiday, travelling 
via Basel as usual and staying a few days at Seelisberg on 
the Lake of Lucerne, then over the S. Gottardo to Como 
and up to Chiavenna, where I joined him. I wrote to 
him, 9th August 1891, telling him when to expect me 
and he made this note on my letter : 

It was during the few days that I was at Chiavenna (at the 
Hotel Grotta Crim^e) that I hit upon the feminine authorship of 
the Odyssey, I did not find out its having been written at 
Trapani tiU January 1892. 

In The Note- Books of Samuel Butler (19 12) is an 
adaptation of the famous saying of Lord Shaftesbury 
about religion : " All sensible men are of the same 
opinion about women, and no sensible man ever says 
what that opinion is." These words might be spoken 
equally sincerely by one who thought well and by one 
who thought ill of women ; they state that the speaker 
had an opinion, but do not disclose which way it 
inclined. Butler must have had a high opinion of 
women or he could not have believed that the Odyssey 
was written by one of them ; nevertheless, according to 
the dictum, had he been a sensible man he would have 
taken care not to publish his opinion. Certainly the 
publishing of it did not meet with general acceptance. I 
have no doubt that in forming it he was influenced by 
his friendship with Miss Savage. Somewhere he speaks 
of the Odyssey as having been written by a prehistoric 
Jane Austen. What Jane Austen could do Miss Savage 
could have done ; but Miss Savage seems to have been 
without the desire to leave any record of herself ; at any 
rate she left none beyond what can be found in her 
correspondence. She may be said to have posted 
her claim to a literary reputation in Buder's letter- 

We went from Chiavenna to Bormio and walked to 
BoUadore. On the way we stopped at — 



Our guide, whenever he wanted to ask a question of a ^^9^ 
girl or girls, called them "bionda" or "bionde,'* "my fair** or ^^^' 55 
^^ my fair ones," and this he did repeatedly. He had been up all 
night mowing by moonlight, beginning at eleven ; then at 
nine a.m. he had started off with us, carrying our heavy loads, 
and it was nearly six in the evening before we got to Edolo. He 
had shoes but no stockings. We gave him twice as much as 
he had bargained for and he seemed to like us. When he had 
landed us at Edolo there came on a dreadful thunderstorm, but 
he started to go back. Since then I have heard no more, but shall 
probably get a line from him when I send him his photograph. 

It was a drizzly, chilly autumn evening at Edolo, 
and, as we sat smoking after supper among the village 
guests in the large room of the inn, dimly lighted by a 
few hanging oil lamps, there came in two young men of 
whom something appeared to be expected. Presently 
one of them stood up and recited the canto of Dante 
that tells about the death of Ugolino, and the other 
young man took round the hat to collect pennies. Then 
they went away out into the cold wet night, but they 
forgot the hat and had to come back for it. Butler, 
thinking of the feast given by Alcinous in the eighth 
book of the Odyssey ^ and seeing in this professional reciter 
a survival of the ancient bards, said to me : 

" I wonder whether Demodocus ever forgot his hat/* 

We went over the Passo d' Aprica to Sondrio and so by 
Colico, Varese, Laveno, and Arona to Varallo-Sesia, where 
Mademoiselle Vaillant and her friend Miss Scott joined us. 

Signor Constantino Durio, one of the wealthy 
inhabitants of Varallo, had given a new facciata for the 
church on the Sacro Monte, and there was a festa to 
celebrate the laying of the first stone or the dedication 
of the completed work — I forget which it was. All 
sorts of people came for the ceremony, including the 
Archbishop of Vercelli, the Bishop of Novara, and the 
astronomer Padre Denza. Butler took all their photo- 
graphs and had the further pleasure of showing 
Mademoiselle VaiUant and Miss Scott round the chapels. 
We also took the ladies for an excursion up to Civiasco, 


1 08 SABBAGLIONE xxix 

1 89 1 on the road which leads over La Colma to Pella on the 
Act. ss Lake of Orta, and had lunch at the restaurant there kept 
by La Martina. Miss Scott was a teetotaller and kne:97 
no Italian, so Butler maliciously instructed the old 
landlady to make the sabbaglione so that it should be 
forte and abbondante and to say that the Marsala, with 
which it was more than flavoured, was nothing but 
vinegar. In after years, whenever we went to Civiasco, 
La Martina always reminded us of this, and laughed as 
she told us that when she looked in to see how things 
were going Butler was pretending to lick the dish clean. 

Buller to Mrs. Alfred BovilL 

Varallo, Sept, 9, 1 89 1. 

Dear Mrs. Bovill — It is a dangerous thing to take up a 
sheet of note-paper when one has only matter for a post-card. 
We are at Varallo^ and assisted at the feast of the birth of the 
Virgin. They put us under the Bishop of Novara who was 
preaching right over my poor bald head, and got so hot that he 
rained on to me till Jones insisted that I should put up my 
umbrella or I should catch cold ; it frightened the congregation 
at first, but they soon saw what it was and it was all right. The 
service lasted three mortal hours, and poor dear litde Pio, who was 
sitting on the steps of the altar nursing the bishop's mitre, went 
to sleep and dropped it, so that the master of the ceremonies had 
to come and wake him, which little episode seemed to be a 
pleasant relief to every one. 

Ulysses is getting on. He is in the castle now, and Penelope 
wanted him to have his feet washed and he said he would rather 
not. He was not going to let any of those ^^ cats " (it was not 
"cats" but "Mrs. Dogs,** only that will not be fit for 
publication) wash his feet ; but Penelope insisted that washed he 
must certainly be, once that night, and then again to-morrow 
morning ; so it was settled that x^uryclea was to wash him, and 
she got some cold water and poured it into a bath, then she 
added the hot till it was just right and then she began to scrub. 
By and by she found the scar, and this surprised her so much 
that she dropped the foot into the tub with a splash, and it upset 
the tub so that Euryclea had to go and fetch some more water, 
for the first lot was all spilt ; but he did get washed in the end. 

You may think this is exaggerated, but see Butcher and 
Lang, Book xix., about two-thirds through, and you will find 
every word of it. I have only three more books to do now. 


Jones leaves me on Friday and will be back in London 1891 
about Tuesday or Wednesday next. I shall follow by the end Act. 55 
of the month, say 27th. We shall be much pleased if you will 
write him instructions to Barnard's Inn as to when it will be 
most convenient to you that we should call upon you. I shall 
be on the move the whole time till I come back. 

We hope you are fairly well and that Mr. Bovill is enjoying 
his golf. Pii niente. — Yours very truly, S. Butler. 

P.S, — ^We hope Miss Lehmann will be happy. What can 
two poor incarnate bachelors say more ? 

The postscript refers to the marriage of Miss Amelia 
Lehmann (a daughter of the painter, Rudolph Lehmann) 
with Mr. Barry Pain. Mrs. Bovill had brought her to 
tea with Butler and also with me. Here is a note about 
another tea-party in Barnard's Inn to which Mrs. Bovill 
brought another friend of hers : 

Mrs. Bovill and Miss Hickman were to come to tea at Jones's, 
and Alfred was to take me to meet them. Through a combina- 
tion of accidents, I forgot ; and they expected us and we did not 
come. Alfred was very much put out and, after blowing me up 
sufficiently, said : 

^ And now, Sir, for the future let it be an understood thing 
— and Mr. Jones too — that if I am told, nothing will ever go 

Which indeed is neither more nor less than the truth. 
Why does not God have an Alfred and tell him everything ? 

Soon after the publication of Ex Voto (May 1888) 
the Awocato Cavalicre Francesco Negri, of Casale- 
Monferrato, who had been making researches at Crea 
and had published an article about Tabachetti in a news- 
paper, wrote to Butler, enclosing a copy of his article, 
saying that he had seen his book, and begging him to 
call the next time he came to Casale. In response to this 
invitation we went there from Varallo, and Butler and the 
Awocato Negri became fast friends. Butler went to 
Casale every year afterwards, and all the members of the 
Negri family looked forward to his visits with great 
pleasure. There was always plenty to talk about because 
the awocato had usually been visiting some town in North 
Italy where he had inspected and deciphered deeds or had 
ascertained facts or verified dates relating to Tabachetti, 


1891 thus doing work which was possible for him as an Italian 
Act ss lawyer but which Butler could scarcely have undertaken. 
He always, in the most generous manner, placed the 
results of his investigations at Butler's service, and was 
of the greatest assistance. He published a pamphlet en- 
titled // Santuario di Crea in Monferrato (G. M. Piccone : 
Alessandria, 1902), embodying all that he had then ascer- 
tained about Tabachetti. 

At Casale we used to put up at the Albergo Rosa 
Rossa, where we had been also on our first visit to the 
town in 1887. This albergo had been bought by the 
Coppo family about ten years before, and they had taken 
over with the fixtures a remarkable old w^ter named 
Pietro de Stefanis, who is mentioned by Butler in Ex Veto 
(P- 33) ^ being known to all the country-side. Some 
years afterwards Cesare and Angelo Coppo, who had both 
been in England and spoke our language, told me a great 
deal about him. He was of a good old family, " with a 
right to have a coat of arms." His brother was the suc- 
cessfiil proprietor of a hotel in Venice, but his prosperity 
died with him because his son was mad. " He was having 
many money in the bank and no felicity in the family. 
If his son would not became mad, would be proprietor 
also of the first hotel in Venice." Pietro was less success- 
ful financially than his brother, but was spared the 
distress of having a mad son. "He was in service to 
the Duchessa di Parma, and to General La Marmora 
who did conduct the Piemontese army into the Crimean 
war and was wounded and became his meals through a 
tube, and Pietro was his waiter for some time." 

The Signora Coppo went once with her son Angelo to 
visit Pietro in his home in the native village of the De 
Stefanis family, which is Viggiona, above Cannero, on the 
Lago Maggiore. This, they told me, is the neighbour- 
hood from which all the best cooks and waiters come. 
" The house was a beautiful place, the best house on the 
Lago Maggiore, 800 metres above the sea, built by 
Pietro's brother with the money fi-om the hotel in Venice, 
and we was received like princes." 

Pietro had only one eye and never went to bed ; 


there was a bedroom for him at the Rosa Rossa, but he 1891 
did not use it except as a dressing-room. He worked ^^^' ^^ 
nearly all his time, only lying down at midnight on three 
or four chairs in the dining-room, so as to be ready in 
case he was wanted, and being up and at work again by 
four in the morning. In the summer he used to put his 
chairs out on the balcony over the front door and sleep 
there among the pots of oleander which it was his first 
duty, summer and winter, to water. He scarcely ever 
took a holiday, and when he did he went home to 
Viggiona to see his wife. 

Pietro and Butler were much interested in one another, 
Butler because he always liked a man who was a voice and 
not an echo — it did not matter who he might be or 
whether he agreed with him or not ; and Pietro because 
he was puzzled, and especially that Butler should return 
to Gisale. Englishmen are rare at the Rosa Rossa, the 
customers being mostly Italian officers and commercial 
travellers. At last he gave it up, and one day asked 
Butler point-blank to explain himself. Butler replied : 

" Well, you see, Pietro, it*s like this : A short time 
ago I began to realise that in my youth I had done many 
things I ought not to have done. I consulted my 
spiritual adviser who advised me to undergo some kind 
of penance and recommended me not to scamp the 
business. I told him I had not much time to waste over 
it because there are other things I should like to attend 
to before I die. He thereupon very considerately named 
Crea, praising it as being less dilatory than any other 
Sanctuary in the granting of absolution to deserving 
pilgrims. And that is why I come to Casale." 

Perhaps Pietro had already guessed that the interest- 
ing Englishman was not such stuff as pilgrims are made 
of, and perhaps Butler had already pigeon-holed Pietro 
and was prepared for the incredulous smile and shake of 
the head with which the old waiter suspected there must 
be some other reason. He then said : 

" I see it is of no use trying to deceive you, Pietro ; 
so now I will tell you the honest truth. England pro- 
duces no wine." 



1 89 1 " Ma, che disgrazia ! " exclaimed Pietro. 

Act. ss 4c j^ J3 indeed a disgrazia ; we do what we can to 
make life endurable by importing wine from more 
favoured countries across the sea into our island ; we 
even drink it ; but good wine is a bad traveller and 
suffers so terribly from nostalgia that to change its 
habitation is to change its nature. And that is the real 
reason why I come to Casale. Here I know I shall find, 
and always in perfect condition, this divine creature — 
Grignolino. Let us drink a glass together." 

Except for the initial shock about there being no 
wine in England, Pietro found all this quite satisfactory, 
and they drank each other's health and became great 
friends henceforward. 

Pietro did not live to welcome us many times to the 
Rosa Rossa. He was like Porthos, his legs failed him 
and the doctor said he must go to bed, which he refused 
to do ; he wanted to continue working twenty hours a 
day all his life. Signora Coppo offered to let him direct 
the work of the albergo from his bed, so that the old 
man should not give up entirely ; she knew that Pietro 
in bed would be of more use than half-a-dozen ordinary 
waters on their feet, just as his one eye was of more use 
than two are to ordinary people ; but he could not con- 
template such an ending of his days. He thanked her, 
but refused her offer and went home to Viggiona. 
" When he left the Rosa Rossa he left for ever. If he 
would come back we were ready to take him even for a 
day, but would not accept — would not come." 

There were three kinds of customers whom Pietro did 
not care to see in the albergo — women, priests, and 
theatre-people. And it was an odd thing that, with his 
dislike of priests, his money went all to the church. 
" And poor Pietro is dead in want because the bad priest 
is always to take. And yet at Viggiona there were trees 
— very precious trees— oaks ; and if he would sell them 
he would be having money, and if we would be knowing 
his want we would be sending money ; but Pietro would 
not be telling." The officers and commercial travellers, 
not knowing his want but out of their regard for him. 


got up a subscription, but he refused to receive anything, 1S91 
and the money had to be given to a hospital. ^^^ ^^ 

It required a little management to steer through the 
hospitality that was always shown us at Casale ; for not 
only did the Coppo family place the whole albergo at our 
service, but the Negri family expected us to use their 
house as our home. The avvocato's dining-table formerly 
stood in the house of his father at Ramezzana, and 
Vittorio Emanuele often came there when he was hunting. 
The avvocato remembered how Vittorio Emanuele used 
to take him up in his arms and kiss him, the avvocato 
being then a child ; he also remembered how strongly the 
great man smelt of garlic, which was because he was in 
the habit of eating la soma, that is, bread on which he 
had rubbed garlic. Cavour also came to the house and 
the Principe dal Pozzo della Cisterna, whose daughter 
married the Duca d* Aosta (son of Vittorio Emanuele) 
and became Queen of Spain. She played duets on the 
piano with the avvocato's wife. The Principessa dal 
Pozzo della Cisterna was the niece of Cardinal di Merode 
who was Ministero delle Arme di Pio Nono. These 
distinguished personages had all been to the house of the 
avvocato's father, and all had dined at the table at which 
we dined in Casale. 

The Principe della Cisterna told them at dinner one 
day that, happening to be in a caffi reading a newspaper, 
he came upon an account of his own death ; it appeared 
that he had been hanged for some political offence. He 
doubted the accuracy of the report but, nevertheless, was 
somewhat alarmed ; however he tested it by swallowing 
a piece of bread, and was pleased to discover that they 
must have hanged some one else. 

The avvocato's father was a great hunter ; he used to 
stay out two or three weeks himting, and in this way he 
met with his death, for it was while out hunting that he 
was bitten by a mosquito and died in two days. 

When we lunched or dined with them there was 
usually some one to meet us who was interested in what- 
ever Butler was doing at the time ; it might be Don 
Minina, the priest, or Professore Gilardini, a musician 


1 14 " ECCO U ITALIANINA 1 " xxix 

1891 from Turin, or perhaps GiorccUi, the good old family 
55 doctor. I remember one evening when there was no 
one besides the family and ourselves ; after dinner the 
Signora Negri brought out and showed us a white silk 
handkerchief with the Magna Charta of the I talian Con- 
stitution of 1848 printed on it and signed by drlo 
Alberto. She was a child in those turbulent days, 
daughter of the Avvocato Giuseppe Ravizza, one of £he 
leading citizens of Novara ; they dressed her in the 
tricolor to symbolise the hopes of Italy, and when the 
King entered the town she was the first to welcome him. 
In acknowledgement he lifted her up in his arms and 
kissed her, saying : 

" Ecco r Italianina ! " 

The handkerchief has been preserved ever since, 
together with a letter of thanks, among her most sacred 
treasures. She also preserves the little golden dagger 
which she wore in her hair as part of her wedding dress — 
a survival of an old custom. There is an equestrian 
statue of Carlo Alberto in the piazza at Casale ; he is 
holding out his hand, whereby the sculptor intended an 
allusion to his granting the Constitution, but the people 
say he is doing it to feel whether it is raining or not, 
and that he is saying : " Oggi non piove/' or as the case 
may be. 

We owe to the Avvocato Giuseppe Ravizza the 
invention of the typewriter, though, as often happens in 
these cases, he did not reap the rewards he was entitled 
to. He did however receive a gold medal in 1856 for 
his "Cembalo Scrivano" shown in the Exhibition at 
Novara ; and at Turin in 1858 he received, at the 
Esposizione Nazionale di Prodotti d* Industria, a bronze 
medal " per concepimento ingegnoso di macchinetta a 
tasti per iscrivere." 

Butler and I parted at Casale : I going to Nice to see 
my mother, and he to the Certosa di Pesio and Mondovl, 
thence to Turin and back to Varallo ; after which he 
called at Faido and then went home. 

On the 6th October Alfred saw him off on a visit to 


Alfred to Butler. 

15 Clifford's Inn, E.C 
7 October 1891* 

Dear Sir — ^I hope you arrived quite safe on Tuesday and 1891 
found your sister well. It rained all day and night on Tuesday ^^ 5S 
so I could do no printing. Today is better and have been able 
to print a few. I have a little complaint to make. You never 
looked out of the carriage to see me standing on the platform as I 
always do. There was I, standing in the rain, and you never 
looked at me. . . . Yours truly, Alfred. 

[On receipt of this I went to the telegraph office at once and 
wired an apology. I do not believe I have ever so offended 
since. As a postscript to a note enclosing letters that had come 
for me he wrote, Oct. 8 : *' Received telegram this morning 
thank you. I shewed it to Mr. Jones and he laughed. I forgive 
you. Alfred.** S. B. — 7 March 1902.] 

Alfred went to the opera this winter to see La Basoche 
and Butler made a note about it : 

Alfred at the Opera 

^ Oh it was lovely. Sir. And in one scene they brought on a 

horse richly capronised vou know. Sir." 

I said, ^ Alfred, speU that word," and made a beginning for 


" Oh yes," he answered, ** I know— <omparisoned." 
*' Come, come, Alfred, you know better than that." 
"Well, Sir, it will be six years before I want to use that 

word again, and won't it do if I study it then ? ** 

To which I not altogether unwillingly yielded, for Alfred's 

education takes time and, what is more, he is so very good as he 

is that it is better to leave him alone. 

Alfred at the Play 

The Noble Vagabond was too homely a piece to please him ; 
and he was afraid Faust^ at the Lyceum, for which he had had a 
ticket given him, would be ^^ a kind of a-draggin' " on him. He 
went, however, to this last piece and was delighted with it. He 
said it required a great deal of credulity before one could accept 
it all as true, but he had never seen such scenery anywhere. 

Professor Marcus Hartog wrote to Butler, 5 th 
November 1891, about a paper he had read at Cardiff. 

118 A TEA-PARTY xxix 

1 89 1 firm friends. No one could have known Mr. Butler intimately 
Act ss without knowing Mr. Jones and Alfred. 

Very soon after Mr. Butler's first visit to my house he 
invited me to bring my two children, Carlos and Merric Bovill, 
to tea at 15 Cliiiord's Inn ; we went and it was one of many 
such delightful tea-parties and I, as well as the boys, felt like a 
child going out to tea with a *' grown-up ** — one in a thousand — 
for he never talked as if he was coming down to one's level, 
indeed he had the great gift of making one bring out some 
good things occasionally ; I was never quite sure they were not 
things he had himself said, dressed up in one's own somewhat 
meagre clothing, but, if so, he never reminded one of that fact. 

His rooms and the stairway to them dated from before the 
great fire of London, I believe ; at any rate if they did not I 
know I shall always think they did. The balustrade was lovely j 
the whole of one's hand rested upon it, it was much too wide to 
be clasped. Then the double doors opened and there he stood 
on the threshold beaming ; beaming is what I mean and I will 
not alter that word ; his glasses were very thick but they could 
not hide either the bright blue colour of his eyes or the delicious 
twinkle in them when he gave forth some rather more naughty 
and humorous speech than usual. Alfred was always there and 
Mr. Jones sometimes — generally I think. Then there was the 
room itself and all his treasures and his dear little piano on which 
I used to play, and I was always to sing ^' something that Alfred 
will like and understand, please." The tea was lovely and we 
all ate too much always and were all the better for it. The 
floor of the room was not level, and even that was a delight and 
is a delight now. 

Mr. Butler used to go for walks in the country, often 
returning by train to Portland Road Station, and as my house 
had a door in Albany Street, close to the station, I was lucky 
enough to see him pretty often on his way home. His talk was 
always charming and full of fun, and he encouraged one to say 
anything that came into one's head and to be natural ; for one 
soon found out that if there was one thing beyond all others he 
could not stand it was pretence of any sort. 

It is my pride and joy to remember that as he translated the 
Odyssey he brought me his MS. and let me read it; and, of 
course, if it had been the dullest of books I should have read it 
and been happy, but as it was practically new to me (for I only 
knew the names and bits of the stories here and there) you can 
imagine how I lived upon it and was impatient for the next 
batch of Books to come. Such a beautiful handwriting too, and 
scarcely an erasure ! 

Then he would make me tell him what I thought of the 


different characters^ and once, when I said I thought Penelope 1891 
was rather a flirt, he was so pleased that he went ofF at a tangent, ^^ SS 
said he quite thought she might have got rid of those suitors if 
she had sent them on messages, with patterns of wools for her 
work, told them they had not matched the colours well and must 
take them back, and when they brought them right at last, forgot 
to pay them, etc. [The Authoress of the Odyssey^ p. 130.] AH 
this and a great deal more we used to talk about. 

On one occasion I persuaded him to give a lecture at my 
house on " The Whitewashing of Penelope * as he called it, and 
I asked a favoured few to come and listen and very pleased they 
were. Amongst the guests were Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Fuller 
Maitland ; she was particularly delighted and afterwards sent 
a card to Mr. Butler for one of her musical evenings. He, of 
course, consulted me as to whether he should go. I think he 
had made up his mind to do so, although it was for 10 p.m. and 
he said : " But there's my bally old body to be considered.** 
Finally he said he would go if I would promise to be there by 
10 punctually. We both arrived at that hour, and I was very 
proud to walk into the room with him. He wore a shirt with 
a little frill down the front which looked old-worldish and delight- 
fully like what he ought to wear. Several of my acquaintance 
asked me: ^Who is that charming old gentleman ?" and those 
I introduced to him felt that, after all, I was not quite such 
a Bohemian as they had thought. 

At 11.30 he asked me, "May I go now?*' and "Must I 
say good-bye ? '* I said, " Yes ** and " No *' and he beamed and 
twinkled and began to feel in his pockets. As he did so his face 
became first serious then sad and long, and, when all the pockets 
had been searched, he bent towards me and said : 

"And now I've lost my bloody ticket." 

I did so wish some of the quite Nice people who were there 
could have heard him. 

Whenever I left home for any length of time he used to 
write to me — such delightful letters. They are full of good 
things, and the best of all is the really big friendliness and kind- 
ness running through every one of them. His kindness to me 
was continuous and always so intensely thoughtful. He lent me 
Alfred to make a catalogue of my books ; it was never finished, 
but I have the book still in which it was begun. Nearly all my 
books by Mr. Butler are gifts from him. 

I had letters and post-cards from him if he was abroad ; no 
matter how busy he was he never seemed to forget that it would 
give me pleasure to hear of some striking paragraph in the 
Odyssey or ///W, or of some of the people in or near Trapani. 

He was not the sort of person one met casually \ he never 


1 20 THE NOTE-BOOKS xxxx 

1891 made a practice of going to parties, and therefore whenever we 
Aet. s$ did meet it was a regular arrangement and was all the pleasanter 
as one could arrange not to have people there who would not 
be interesting or interested — just a few real friends. I much 
preferred it, however, if we were quite alone and I could ask him 
this, that, and the other question and always be sure of being 
told what I wanted to know, without feeling that he thought me 
an ignoramus either ; and that is saying a great deal for his 
I The Note-Books which have recently been published are more 

valuable than all his other works to those who knew him person- 
ally, for they bring him actually back to one's memory exactly 
as he was ; his very words are there and with them come, to me 
at any rate, with no effort the sound of his voice and the picture 
of him with his strong personality. There is no dressing-up for 
effective presentation to the public ; the simplicity of the book 
is its strength. The Biographical Statement is all one needs to 
remind one of the work done and the dates thereof; and the 
restraint shewn by the editor in thus letting the Notes speak for 
themselves is rare in work of this description and demands the 
gratitude of all those who, like myself, are fortunate enough to 
have met Samuel Butler, and ako to be able to think and speak 
of him as ** friend." Jessie Grosvenor. 

December^ 191 2. 

I pointed out to Mrs. Grosvenor that I was scarcely 
the proper person to give currency to the last paragraph 
of her Reminiscences, but she thought me fastidious and 
was so anxious to say that reading the Notes brought him 
back more vividly than anything else that, after considera- 
tion, I determined to reproduce her MS. without asking 
her to alter the end of it. I was the mere willing to do 
this because several friends who remembered him have 
expressed themselves to the same effect, notably his cousin, 
Reginald Worsley, and Gogin. 





Some time previous to 1892 I had made the acquaintance 189^ 
of Mrs. BeaYiDgtoa Atkinson who had met Butler years ^^ ^^ 
before. ' She lived in Kensington, and a few friends, 
including myself, used to meet at her house every week 
to try over madrigals and part-songs. On 27th January 
we sang through the whole of Narcissus with" pianoforte 
accompaniment. Butler, of course, came and [was much 
pleased 'tcr hear that, with a few more rehearsals, his 
music would sound as he had intended. 

Meanwhile he was continuing his translation of the 
Odyssey which was "finished," as he wrote to Hartog, 
only in the sense that he had covered the canvas, — ^it all 
wanted revision. Early in January 1892, in the course 
of this revision, he came to Neptune's turning the 
Phaeacian ship into a rock at the entrance of the harbour 
of Scheria, and felt sure that, if an actual place was being 
described anywhere in the poem, this was the passage 
or one of the passages. He made a list of the various 
natural features of Scheria, as detailed in the poem, and 
set about looking on the map for some spot that should 
satisfy all the requirements. Learning from G>lonel 
Mure's work^ that the locality of the episode of the 
Cyclopes had been supposed to be near the Lilyboean 
promontory, he went to the British Museum and searched 
that neighbourhood on the Admiralty charts, whereon he 
found that Trapani and Mount Eryx supplied everything 

' Language and Literature of Aneiens Greece (London : LongmanSi 1850]. 



189* he was in search of. He then wrote to The Athenaeum^ 
Act. 56 ^^^ January 1892, a letter of which these were the 
points : 

I. The town of Scheria must not be on a river, or 
Nausicaa need not go so far afield for a washing-ground. 

2. The river when reached must not be a large one. 

3. Between the town and the washing-ground there must 
be a stretch of low land with a road on it, running parallel 
to the coast, for both town and washing-ground are on 
the seashore. 4. The town must have what may pass for 
a harbour on either side of it. 5. There must be a low, 
but formidable, rock quite near die shore, and not much 
above water, for Neptune turns to stone the ship that had 
escorted Ulysses and presses it down into the water just 
as it was coming full sail into port. 6. There ought also 
to be a notable mountain not far from the town, to give 
point to Neptune's threat that he would bury the city 
under a high mount^n. . 

It is indisputable that the local colour of the Phaeacian 
books is more vivid than that of the rest of the Odyssey. 
Assuming that the poem is all by a single writer, then, if 
the chief town of the Phaeacians, namely Scheria, can be 
localised as Trapani — 

It is from this place that the Odyssey must be supposed to 
have come, and it will be no strained hypothesis to hold that 
actual people may appear as well as an actual place. Whether the 
writer of the Odyssey may appear among these, and if so which 
character is most suggestive of the poem as a whole — these are 
points on which, though I may have formed an opinion, I do not 
venture to express it at present ; I leave them, therefore, to the 
consideration of more competent critics. 

These last words foreshadow his view that the authoress 
introduced herself into the poem under the name of 

In the Odyssey^ when King Alcinous sees that Neptune 
has turned the ship into stone, he says that the Phaeacians 
have made a mistake in giving Ulysses an escort, and that 
they must not act so inconsiderately in future. Butler 
was surprised and delighted to find, not merely that there 
was a rock in the sea such as he wanted near the shore at 


Trapani, but that it was named in the chart " Lo Scoglio 1892 
di Malconsiglio." He wrote for information about it to ^^' 5^ 
the Sindaco of Trapani, who replied that there was a legend 
about Turkish pirates coming to attack the place, and 
that the Madonna di Trapani had turned their ship into 
this rock as it was entering the harbour — ^that is to say, 
the pagan legend of the Odyssey had been Christianised. 

On the 30th January, the day that his letter appeared 
in The Athenaeum^ he gave a lecture at the Working Men's 
College in Great Ormond Street on **The Humour of 
Homer." Dr. Garnett was there and also Miss Jane 
Harrison, the Greek scholar, both very much offended 
and scandalised, especially Miss Harrison — at least that is 
what Butler thought ; but the audience generally were 
laughing heartily all the time. 

My Lecture on "The Humour of Homer 


This came off on Saturday night at the Working Men's 
College and I should say went very well. The room was full 
and Garnett tells me that several had to stand, but I was too 
much occupied with the lecture to see. 

I called on Garnett this morning, and it seemed to me that 
he had been a good deal frightened and shocked. I could not get 
a word out of him but the merest common form remarks ; the 
most definite thing he said was that my suggestion about Mrs. 
Homer had a great many potentialities. As for my letter in 
Friday's Athenaeum about Trapani, he said it was a very ingenious, 
plausible suggestion, but that he did not know enough about the 
subject to be able to form an opinion. Garnett is an excellent 
don-ometer and what he said shows me what dons at Oxford and 
Cambridge will say generally — which was what I wanted to be 
sure about. 

The wonder is that one so cautious and academic as he is 
should be, as he not less certainly is, one of the most brilliantly 
humorous and in all respects fascinating writers of the time, if 
not the very best we have, for I know not who can be placed 
above him.^ 

I told Fortescue, laughingly, of Garnett's attitude, and he 
smiled and said : 

^Garnett hates anything downright and outspoken. There 

^ Butler was thinking of Tht Twilight of the Gods, a book of ttories by Garnett, 
pnblithed in 1888. 


1892 came here once [to the British Museum Reading Room] a 
Act 56 Siamese prince, a very intelligent fellow, who, among other 
things, was president or the library and educational department in 
Siam. Garnett and I went round with him and showed him 
among other things the way in which the place was heated : 
** ' And how does it work ? ' asked the prince. 
^ ^ Damnably,' I replied, and I could see Garnett writhed with 
agony. He shuddered and gasped for breath." 

On 20th February a further letter from Butler 
appeared in The Athenaeum showing that the description 
in the Odyssey of Ithaca does not at all agree with the 
real Ithaca, which is one of the Ionian islands and lies off 
Greece, but docs agree perfectly with Marettimo, which 
is one of the Aegadean islands and lies off Trapani. He 
also gave further reasons for thinking that Scheria is drawn 
from Trapani and that Ithaca, when it is being described 
from within, and not as an island lying away in the sea, is 
also drawn from Trapani and its neighbourhood. 

Mrs. Bovill had been talcing lessons from Rockstro but 
gave them up for a time when she went to Australia for her 
health. I do not remember whether it was on this or on 
some other occasion when she was unwell that Rockstro 
offered prayers and burnt a candle for her in his church. 
She wrote to Butler from Australia complaining of the 
colonialness of the place and he replied : 

Butler to Mrs. BovilL 

7 Feb, 1892. 

Poor Mrs. Bovill ! — Jones said, " Poor thing I " when I read 
him your letter, and I was half tempted so to begin my letter, 
only I did not venture. I know all about it. I was 4} years 
in New Zealand, but they were better then, for the place was 
only 9 years old and they had not yet got any money ; but the 
newness and rawness of tne place were very depressing. Then I 
was a year and a half in Canada, mainly Montreal. I think 
you know the litde " Psalm *' which was the outcome of that 
sojourn. It is at the end of my Selection book. When they 
have nicer things to eat they will be nicer people, and when they 
are nicer people they will have nicer things to eat ; but so long 
as their food is what it is the Lord will harden their hearts and 
they will not bring forth the fruits of good living. What a 
vicious circle it all is ! For good living is both the fruit that is 
to be borne and the thing that is to bear the fruit, is it not i 


My Alfred watched your ship all the way out, and duly XS92 
informed me of every place at which she touched. The moment ^^ 5^ 
he heard you were in the Paramatta^ he began to watch that. 
It was very good of him, for it was all done out of his own 

We have had Venus and Jupiter very bright and very close. 
One evening they shone clear and near the moon, no other stars 
being visible. Alfred did not like it, so he said : 

" Do vou think. Sir, that that is quite right ? ** 

I saia I thought it was ; but next night the moon was a 
lone way ofF, so he complained to me and said it was not right. 

I said : ^^ But you know, Alfred, the moon rises an hour 
later every night, so it will be an hour yet before it is in the 
same place/' 

^Very well. Sir," he answered, finding my explanation a 
little tedious, ^ I forgive you this once, but never allude to the 
subject again in my presence.'' 

Isn't it refreshing to have people like that about one ? 

My lecture came ofF last Saturday week, and Jones and I 
thought it was a good deal liked. I do not see how it could 
possibly have gone better. I have found the place where 
Nausicaa lived. She drew it all from life, and I had a long 
letter, with map, about it in last week's Athenaeum. No 
contradiction as yet. I have offered my translation to publisher 
after publisher, and no one will take it though I have offered to 
give it to them. It must wait. Griffith, Farran & Co. were 
no good — a long story — so I went and was as rude as I could 
be — ^very rude — and deliberately so. ... I did not go to them. 
They wrote to me and asked to see the MS. I took it. They 
kept it a fortnight, so I called for an answer. They asked for a 
few more days — ^kept it another fortnight — I called again, and 
found Welsh had gone to America. So I flew at their manager 
and morally pulled the establishment about their ears. A week 
was ample time, considering that they had asked to see it and I 
had told them I wanted it. 

Mrs. Beavington Atkinson did Narcissus the week before 
last, from end to end, songs, choruses (8 voices), and all ; it took 
just 2 hours including the interval between the parts, and we 
thought everyone liked it and laughed very heartily. She will 
do it again. Please get well enough to come and hear it. I 
have done the Sirens music for Ulysses^ but am at a stone wall 
with the recitative that follows. The isle is to dissolve in flames 
of fire, and I cannot do the fire. 

Alfred shall get you some cream and a nice piece of cake 
from Buszard's as soon as ever you come back. You will have 
lots of letters to read and this is too long already, so with kind 


1892 regards and great hope that vou may be soon here again and 
Act. 56 gf^ gooji health and spirits^ — Believe me, yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

Butler, of course, told Rockstro all about his 
Odyssey theories, and Rockstro was tempted to get up 
his Greek again so that he might understand them 
better. During the time we knew him, but I forget 
precisely when, he fell from the top of an omnibus near 
South Kensington Station. Otto Goldschmidt, who, as 
has been already mentioned, had been a fellow-pupil with 
him under Hauptmann and Mendelssohn, came to see 
him in the hospital, and Rockstro told Goldschmidt all 
about the accident. Goldschmidt would not believe him 
and said : 

" You don't mean to tell me you fell off from the top 
of the bus down to the ground ? " 

" Yes, I do," said Rockstro, ** right off from the top 
down to the ground, and they took me into the pastry- 
cook's before bringing me here." 

Next day Goldschmidt went to see Rockstro again 
and said : 

" I find you are quite right. I have been to the 
pastrycook's and you actually did fall from the top of 
the bus to the road." 

Butler was amused when he heard this, and made the 
wicked comment that as Otto Goldschmidt had known 
Rockstro nearly all his life he ought to have been able to 
form a correct idea of his truthfulness without calling at 
the pastrycook's for confirmation. 

Rockstro never completely recovered from this 
accident, and when he had influenza or caught cold, 
which he frequently did, he suffered in the bruised 
limbs. In March 1892 he was laid up, and wrote to 
Butler that he had been using his time in brushing up his 
Greek : 

fF. S. Rockstro to Butler. 

March 1892 — I find I have not only forgotten my verbs but 
my men and places also, and I have wished I had a key to Homer 



like that which some benevolent Frenchman has written to de 1892 
Balzac ; a key which would explain who wa3 who and where ^^* 5^ 
was where in both poems. When I was a boy I determined a 
thousand times over that I would make myself such a key, and 
the desire has come over me again. Only I cannot now afford 
to give my time to it wholly for love. Do you think any 
enterprising publisher would join me in the speculation ? I am 
afraid to broach the subject to Macmillan or any of the 
confraternity, lest anyone else should think the idea good and 
anticipate me — for I suppose one cannot register a literary 
invention like a mechanical one. But I certainly should like to 
concoct such a key to Homer in a systematic form, and the 
labour would be to so great an extent mechanical that it would 
not need the learning of a tremendous scholar to carry it out. 
What say you to the idea ? . . . 

Also while actually confined to bed I made a canon, capable 
of heaps of solutions, some bad, some good, and a few really 
good. I send it to you on the opposite page in case you or 
Jones might like to have a shy at it. 

About this time Rockstro gave me another canon 
which he had been composing. I reproduce them both 
here ; the first is the one he sent to Butler, the second 
b the one he gave to me. 

Canon I. 

Moom VII. 

R» Hi H — 




W. S. Rockstro, March 189a* 

Lan - da - te Do - mi-num 







- net gen - tet: Ura-da-te E-am om ---ncspo - pn-li. 


Canon II. 

j,Hh JJU, .. u^- jj5 

Lau - - - - da 

te Do - mi - num 

W. S< R« 



om - nes gen - 











3 ^^ 



gg ' ; 

lan - da - - te E - nm 





om-nes po - - 


pn - 


. . li. 

lan - da - 

te £ - nm 

om-nct po - pa - li. 


1892 Canons were not much in Butler's line, but I had a 

^*^ ^^ shy at them. I did not, however, get anything like the 
82 solutions of which Rockstro said one of them was 
capable. I think it was 82, but that was if one kept 
stricdy to the rules ; by using licenses it was something 
like 1 50, if I remember right. 

In March 1892 Butler had the misfortune to lose a 
friend whom he always called "Madame." Her name 
was Lucie Dumas, but some years before her death she 
exchanged the Dumas, which was her father's name, for 
Dewattines, which was her mother's maiden name. 
Butler made her acquaintance somewhere near the Angel 
at Islington about 1872, when she was twenty-one. She 
came of respectable parents, engaged in the silk trade at 
Lyons. She had been in Paris and had a son whose 
father, on marrying, undertook to provide for him and 
made Madame an allowance on condition that she lived 
out of France. He did this with the acquiescence of his 
wife, and Madame spoke well of their behaviour to her. 
I have no doubt she deserved to be well treated by them, 
for she was an admirable woman, absolutely trustworthy, 
with considerable knowledge of the world, great natural 
intelligence, and what her brother, who was with her 
during the last years of her life, called "un coeur d'or." 

Madame had had predecessors, but during the twenty 
years of her intimacy with Butler she had no rivals. 
After he had known her some fifteen years he disclosed 
his name and address, and she occasionally came to tea in 
his rooms ; none of the predecessors had known how to 
retain his friendship as she retained it. 

Madame spoke English, but never completely mastered 
the intricacies of our language, and she and Butler con- 
versed in French. One evening he said to me : 

" Oh, what do you think Madame told me this after- 
noon? She says she has a friend — let me see if I can 
remember her words — 'Une amie qui va 6pouser en 
secondes noces un officier de la Sale-Vache Arm6e.* " 

And we wondered whether to admire more the reckless 
clutching at the Salvation Army or the discreet admission 
of one previous marriage. 


Madame, as a good Catholic, observed the festivals 1892 
and fasts of the Roman Church ; not only so, she tried ^^^' ^^ 
to induce those about her to observe them also — especially 
the fasts. I forget whether she ever made Butler actually 
promise to abstain from meat on Good Friday, but I 
remember his telling me how shocked she was when he 
confessed to her, one year, that he had sinned in this 
respect, and how she blew him up and begged him to 
reform. He was " civil but quite inexorable," as he was 
when refusing to help to get the Jews back to Palestine 
(ante, I. p. 383). 

She was more successful with Marquis, her cat ; but 
then she had the ordering of his daily menu. When she 
boasted to Butler of her intentions he thought she was 
construing the injunctions of her spiritual adviser some- 
what widely, and remonstrated, pointing out that Marquis 
could not seriously claim any share in the sacred mystery 
of the Redemption. It was of no use. She brushed his 
sophistries aside. Marquis must conform. And that is 
how matters stood when Butler went for his Easter outing. 

On his return Madame welcomed him — had he 
enjoyed himself? had he made many sketches? evidently 
the weather had been fine, he was so sunburnt. And 
aU the time Marquis, with his tail in the air, was per- 
forming greetings after his kind, purring loud, caressing 
Butler's ankles, and describing figures of eight in and out 
between his feet. Then Butler sat down in front of the 
fire and began to unlace his boots, an operation which 
always fascinated Marquis ; he forgot he was grown up, 
and sported with the flickering tags like the kitten he 
still was at heart. Butler himself became fascinated as 
he watched his lithe movements. He always associated 
grace and contentment with good health, and it came into 
his mind that whatever Marquis had had for dinner on 
Good Friday it had not disagreed with him. Perhaps 
Madame had relented ? 

" Non, non ; pas du tout. Au contraire, j'ai dit au 
marchand de meat de ne rien apporter ce jour-li — inutile 
de passer." 

" Alors, il n*a pas mang6, ce pauvre Marquis ? " 



1892 '^ Pas mang£ ! mais si, mon ami, il a mang6. Je lui 

Act. 56 ^j donni un hot cross bun,*' 

Madame was continually changing her lodgings, which 
were at first in Islington and later on in Bloomsbury. 
Towards the end of her life she was living in Handel 
Street, near the Foundling Hospital ; the circumstance 
amused Butler and gave a new significance to the epithet 
** Handelian." She was taken from Handel Street to the 
French Hospital, where she died of consumption. Butler 
saw that she was suitably buried, and he and I, accompanied 
by her brother, followed her to Kensal Green. 

It was Madame who said of Butler, referring to his 
simplicity in some matters and his insight in others, " II 
sait tout ; il ne sait rien ; il est poite.'* 

Mrs. Bovill presently returned from Australia, and 
one day Butler sent Alfred to her house with a copy of 
Ex Voto for her sister, and a copy of Alps and Sanctuaries 
for herself. 

Butkr to Mrs. Bovill. 

$th April 1892 — ^Well, your servant, not knowing what a 
very important person Alfred was, and thinking he was just a 
common young man, said you were busy ; and Alfred, being 
very meek, went away, forgetting that he had express instruc- 
tions to explain everything by word of mouth, and that he ought 
to have said he would wait till you were disengaged. However, 
this note will do the thing as well. Mind you dorCt scold your 
servant -, and mind, please, you ask me to tell you about Alfred 
and the plates. No— -I will do it now. 

I took him to see Venice at Olympia, and we saw some 
plates, 6d. each. 

Alf. " Do you know. Sir, I think you ought to have a few 
plates like that against Mrs. Bovill comes — you know it looks 
very bad, such common plates as you have." 

/. " Very well ; I will get oney but I shall only get one ; 
you know that's the way you always rush me when I take you 
out anywhere. Still, I will get one.** 

Alf, " Very well. Sir, but / am to have it when she has used 
it, am I not ? 

/. " Why, what do you want it for ? *' 

Alf, " To hang up, because I think it looks pretty." 

/. " Very wel^ Alfred, then I had better get two plates at 



Alf. (after a pause) "Do you know, Sir, I think it would be 189a 
almost as well if Mrs. Bovill did not see my plate." -A®*- 5^ 

/. " Why so ? " 

Alf. " Because, you know, she might take a £uicy to it, and, 
if she was to like it, I think the verv least you could do would be 
to give it her, and then I shouldn't have it.** 

/. "Very well, Alfred, you shall do exactly as you please, 
but I will get two plates. ** 

And now let us see what he does. I won't interfere one way 
or the other. 

This spring Butler did something he had often 
threatened to do — he took a short outing to Holland in 
April to see the bulbs in bloom and to refresh his memory 
of the Rembrandts at Amsterdam. 

Butler's lecture " The Humour of Homer " having 
appeared in The Eagle^ he had it printed as a pamphlet 
in March by Metcalfe of Camt)ri^e7 "arid sent copies to 
friends, among" others^ "to 'Tjarheft,'^*?^^^ for 

the preseiir of Kis dTsco'urse, ' '^ wKicR^ he wruLCp* I shall 
read with no leys pleasure ' than "T^Tieard^it."*' Butler 
adnotated — this — wWf "' Ihe " IbHowing'^explanation and 
remark : 

I,e. ^ which I hate as much as when I heard the lecture 
delivered." I have- lievef'yet'hSd an opportunity drantEine this 
clever euphemism my own — but I may yet have one. — S. B., 
Mar. 10, 1902. 

This comment is dated about three months before 
Butler's death ; had he not been then seriously out of 
health he would have remembered that in the opening of 
the first chapter of "The Deadlock in Darwinism," 
which appeared in The Universal Review in April 1890 
(reprinted in Essays on Life^ Art^ and Science and in The 
Humour of Homer and Other Essays)^ he had already had 
an opportunity, and had used it, of making something 
very like "this clever euphemism" his own. Speaking 
of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace he wrote, 
"Neither can be held as the more profound and con- 
scientious"^hinkef ; ." . .'neither is "tile Tfiore rtfady to 
welcomVcnticism and to state his opponent's case in the 
most telling and pointed way in which it can Be put ; 


1892 ... neither is the more genial, generous adversary, or 
Act, 56 j^as the prbfouhder horror of anythme'eveTiirpproachine 
literary or scientific want of candour," and so on for 
nearTy a page. Possibly GarnettTiad this passage in his 
mind when he wrote his letter of thanks. 

There was a review of the pamphlet in The Spectator 

about which Butler wrote to his sister : 



Butler to Miss Butler. 

y'' 26 April 1892 — We believe the article to be by a Miss Jane 
Harrison who wrote a book about Homer a dozen ^ears"^go or 
so llT'-the affected Church style which so many people un- 
fortunately mistake for culture. She was at my lecture with the 
two Miss Butchers (Butcher and Lang's sisters). She told me 
she had disliked it very much and the Miss Butchers glared at 
me, so I went off to those who were more sympathetic. I am 
told she was scowling the whole lecture through. Of course I 
may be wrong — the review may be by Mr. (jiadstone, but we 
think Miss Harrison more likely. I think most people will see 
that it is by an angry woman who is determined to see nothing 
but bad, and who will not even deign to notice the topographical 
suggestions which she cannot contradict. In fact we believe it 
to be just on a small scale Blomfield and Dr. Butler over again.^ 
If my way of doing the thing is right Miss Harrison's is wrong 
and so is Mr. Butcher's ; so naturally Miss Harrison and the 
Miss Butchers abuse me as much as they can. As for Dr. 
Butler, I should think he would be delighted with the whole 
thing — at least you may be sure I should not take so much pains 
with his life and memory and then go and do anything which 
I believe he would consider in bad taste. However it is hopeless 
my trying to please The Spectator or those who take in The 
Stectator^ and I may as well irritate them as I know I cannot 
please them. 

I Whether Mr. Gladstone wrote the article in The 

I Spectator I cannot say, but, as will appear later (p. 212) 
j Miss Jane Harrison did not. Butler made this note on 
/ the copy he kept of his letter to his sister : " The Spectator 
I would never give Miss Harrison more than three columns 
of sub-leader to review a simple lecture." 

In May 1892 Butler received a letter from Emanuele 

^ There was a quarrel, arising ont of Dr. Butler's Atscfylus^ of which particulars 
will be found in Tk4 Lift tmd Letters ofDr, Samuel Butler, I. 55. 




Biaggini of Trapani. He kept what he calls an 1892 
"epitomised translation" of this letter and I give it-^«'-5^ 
here as he left it, with the notes he made on it. The 
notes add to the interest of the letter, and the whole 
will instruct the reader in several matters which he ought 
to bear in mind when reading about the development 
of the Odyssey theories. He will notice that Biaggini 
accepts the view that the writer of the poem was a woman, 
and boldly calls her Nausicaa. 

Signor Emanuele Biaggini to Butler. 

(EprroMisBD and Adnotatbd Translation by Butlbr) 

Trapani, xo May 1892. 

Pardon my writing in Italian, for I know no English. I 
have been told bv the sindaco of Trapani that you have written 
a pamphlet callea ^^ The Humour of Homer " in which you have 
also given two letters (already published in The Athenaeum) 
respecting the writer of the Odyssey and the true site of Scheria. 
These letters which the sindaco has had translated and which 
he has shewn to various friends have made an excellent impression 
here. In my own name, therefore, and in that of my fellow- 
citizens, I feel in duty bound to send you our best thanks for 
the lustre which your acute remarks have shed upon our native 

Meanwhile I would ask you to send me a copy of your 
^ Humour of Homer " that I may get it explained to me by 
a friend who knows English, etc. 

[He then asks permission to make a few remarks of his own, 
that have occurred to him on reading the Odyssey again by the 
light of my theory. — S. B.] 

All historians who have written about Trapani are agreed 
that it dates from a very remote antiquity. Here was buried the 
famous sickle wherewith Saturn was mutilated ; Saturn was 
worshipped here and regarded as the .founder of the city. Every- 
one knows that the name of the town is taken from this sickle. 

The island of Corfii claims a like origin, although ApoUonius 
Rhodius tells us that Corfii or Corcyra was called Drepane to do 
honour to the nurse of Feace, whose name was Drepane. 

Peace was hxhtr of Nausithous, who was father of Alcinous 
king of the Phaeacians, but I will deal with this more fully 
later. • . • 

To return to history. The city was important even in the 


1892 times of the Sicans and Sicels [Trapani never was a Sican city, 
Act, 56 nor yet, probably, a Siccl one. — S. B.], and when occupied by 
the Phoenicians it became a great emporium of commerce. 

Eryx, the ancient city— perhaps Hypereia — was a flourishing 
city at the time of the Trojan war. Its king Acertes received 
the exile Aeneas, according to Virgil, with all suitable munifi- 
cence — ^the silence, however, of Virgil about the Phaeacians is 
noteworthy, and I will deal with it in a later letter. There is 
nothing, therefore, very surprising in the fact that it should have 
owned a civilisation capable of producing the Odyssey. 

I will now briefly point out the closeness with which the 
description given by Nausicaa tallies with the actual features of 

1. The city surrounded by high walls, on a strip of land 
running out into the sea. Such was Trapani in days of old and 
such it remained until within the last few years. 

2. The two harbours, one on either side, where the sailors 
beached their ships. The true harbour now is on the South 
side, but also on the North side there is a shore on which small 
vessels can find shelter and be beached in safety. 

3. The aptitude of the Phaeacians for the sea. Trapanese 
sailors have always been held to be the best of sailors, whether 
in Punic, Roman, or medieval times. 

4. Distrust of, and want of courtesy towards strangers was a 
distinguishing feature of the Phaeacians. I regret to say that it 
still is so among the common people here. 

5. The temple of Neptune in the heart of the town. We 
have a tradition, quoted also by historians, that the present church 
of S. Nicola stands on the foundations of an ancient temple of 
Neptune. Ferro tells us that when the foundations of this 
church were laid open for some repairs in 1770 a small bronze 
idol was found. At this place (then shore) ships, sails, and oars 
were repaired, as they still are on the shore a little further on. 

[I omit Biaggini's 7 & 8, as abounding in untenable 
positions, but I note that Biaggini hankered from the first after 
making Nausicaa go northward to wash her clothes, instead of 
southward as I was at first inclined to do. I notice, also, that 
Biaggini had spotted the fact that it was winter when Ulysses 
landed in Scheria. — S. B.] 

9. The high mountain under which Neptune threatened to 
bury the city of Scheria, is found in Mount Eryx, which over- 
hangs Trapani at no great distance. 

10. I need not epitomise what Biaggini says about 

11. Caves. There is the Grotta del Toro, also called the 
Giants' or the Cyclopes* cave, on the slopes of Martogna. There 


was also another cave towards the East called '^the Giant's," 1892 
where Father Castronovo, quoting from Fazzello, tells us that Act. 56 
in 1342 an enormous skeleton was found with colossal bones, 
teeth and jaws. There is also the Grotta Emiliana. . . • 

In all the above-named caves there are found remains of 
human meals [fossilized — when the inhabitants had done eating 
they threw the debris of their meals, often partlv chewed, on the 
upper sides of the cave, where they stuck. I brought several 
examples home, full of bones and sometimes hair and feathers — 
S. B., Mar. 17, 1902], bones and teeth of animals, flint arms and 
implements, showing that these caves have been inhabited ever 
since the age of stone. I find nothing strange, therefore, that 
traditions of the existence of pre-existing uncivilised races, of 
great stature, and dwellers in caves suggested the episode of the 
Cyclopes to the writer of the Odyssey. [It was the big stones of 
the Pelasgic walls on the top of Mount Eryx that suggested the 
gigantic size of the Cyclopes. — S. B.] I am confirmed in this 
opinion by the hct that Fazzello and Stolberg, as you tell me, 
placed the episode of the Cyclopes on the Lilvboean promontory. 

[I omit his remarks upon Alcinouss gardens. About 
Dulichium and the isola lunga he takes my view. He cannot 
make out why I said that the ract of Stolberg and Fazzello having 
placed the Cyclops episode on the Lilyboean promontory should 
have made me suspect that Scheria would not be hv off. I told 
him partly because I had already discovered that the writer was a 

iroung woman drawing from her own neighbourhood, and little 
ikely to draw from any other ; and partly because in Od, viii. 
Alcinous seems to know all about the Cyclopes, to whom indeed 
he is represented as nearly related, being half-great-nephew to 

The rest of the letter is nothing but warm invitation to come 
to Trapani. — S. B.] 

About this 'time Harry Quilter proposed to republish 
Butler's Universal Review articles and to write a prefatory 
Essay on Butler's books as a whole. 

Butler to Harry Quilter. 

18 May 1892 — What a flattering proposition ! Of course I 
shall be delighted — if you think it worth while. . . . But are 
you not hoaxing me altogether and presuming on my inordinate 
vanity ? If you are I forgive you. 

They discussed the advisability of including some 
additional matter, and considered "The Humour of 



1892 Homer" ; but this was not available because of arrange- 
Act. 56 jngj^ts already made between Butler and Metcalfe. 

Butler to Harry Q,uilter. 

21 May 1892 — Otherwise, if it is thought desirable to have 
an article on the Odyssey I have abundant most aggravating and 
impudent matter about Penelope and King Menelaus which I 
could throw into an article like the classical part in ^' Ramblings 
in Cheapside." 

I have also an article, in great part written, called ^ Croesus's 
Kitchen-maid " which has nothing to do with Croesus or classics 
but has, I fancy, a good deal of quiet devilment — but I am very 
busy and shall not be able to make these articles very long. . . . 

If I write the article or articles above referred to, please don't 
say that they were written for your collection ; let it be supposed 
that they were copy left on your hands for The Universal Review 
and not used before the Review was discontinued. 

This correspondence is all I find about Quilter's 
proposal ; the foregoing extracts are interesting to me 
personally because they give the facts which I had more 
than half forgotten when I wrote the note at the end of 
** Croesus and his Kitchen-maid " in The Note-Books of 
Samuel Butler (19 12). On referring to the MS. Note- 
Books themselves I see that the note which forms the 
greater part of "Croesus and his Kitchen-maid" was 
originally written so long ago as 1880. 

In June Butler went to an At Home at Mrs. Bovill's 
and left rather abruptly. This is from his letter of 
apology : 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

17 yune 1892 — I went downstairs to console myself with 
ices (thev were excellent) and who should come in but Mrs. X, 
whom 1 like and who, I am sure, is well disposed towards me, 
but who would not believe I meant what I said in my lecture 
[^' The Humour of Homer "] ; and I had to batde with her, and 
I don't believe I convinced her then. It made me feel so low 
and hopeless that even a friendly and clever woman like Mrs. X 
can think me capable of such poor pleasantry and, moreover, to 
see that even she could not see the seriousness because I had done 
my little feeble best to amuse as well as interest, that I felt the 
top of a bus and a cigarette to be the only thing I cared about. 


This morning the thunder is over and I am all right again, so 189a 
I hasten to apologise. Aet 56 

P.S. — Remember, please, that it is twenty years since I 
published Erewhon and I have been battling with Mrs X's ever 

Butler to Avvocato Francesco Negri. 

Jum 19M, 1892. 

Dear Avvocato Negri — I have let your very kind and 
interesting letter of April 23 remain hi too long without an 
answer. Pray forgive me. I have noted all the additional 
matter that you tell me about Tabachetti. I wish the good 
people at Varallo would throw themselves into Tabachetti one 
half as well as you and Don Minina do. All that you tell me I 
always find commends itself to me at once, and it alwap turns 
out right. 

I cannot tell my own movements just yet, but shall know 
shortly how to make my plans; anyhow I intend coming to 
Varallo and Casale in August or September, but which it is will 
depend on whether I go to Sicily first, or after having been to 
Casale, and this depends on other people. 

They are translating my pamphlet about Homer at Trapani, 
and are evidently a good deal surprised and interested at having 
the Odyssey thrust upon them. Here [England] the pamphlet 
has met with a very bad reception, and I have been very angrily 
or even savagely attacked for it. The writers pass over the 
topographical question without notice ; they see they can do 
nothing against that ; nor do they say much against my supposi- 
tion that the poem was written by a woman ; but they say I have 
vulgarised Homer, and that I am laughing at what is great 
poetry and should not be profanely handled. I have made no 
replies ; but in the first place the Odyssey is much more ^^ alia 
buona " than people think it is, and, in the next, I really do not 
see anything particularly vulgar in my translation. However the 
critics do, so there I am obliged to leave it. I believe the grava- 
men really is that I, who am not a Homeric student, should have 
stumbled upon such interesting things in connection with the 
Odyssey^ things moreover that they are inexcusable for not having 
found out long ago. And so it was here in England with 
Tabachetti. It seems to me that the average English critic has 
neither eyes nor ears, and neither knows nor wants to know, but 
only thinks of scratching the eyes out of the head of anyone who 
looks at things for him or her self. However, this is beginning 
to be spiteful. 

They have begun to print [the translation into Italian of] 



1892 my Ex Foto. I am alarmed at its length and prolixity. The 
Aet. 56 book has been hanging about so long and has had so many things 
stuck into it, that it is no longer a book, but a repertorium and 
has the look of a patched thing. However I cannot help it. 
The difficulties of disunce, foreign language, and the not having 
the thing in my own hands are too great for me and it must 
stand as it is. 

I look forward with great pleasure to seeing you and Don 
Minina and your sons, and will write again before long to arrange 
a time more definitely. — With all kind regards, believe me, dear 
Avvocato, yours very truly, S. Butler. 

P.S. — I find I shall probably go to Sicily at the beginning of 
August, and come to Varallo and Casale in September. 

In June he went to the Shrewsbury school dinner and 
then, at last, came the time to which he had been looking 
forward ever since he had come to the conclusion that 
Trapani was the place where the Odyssey was written. 
On the 23rd July he started alone for Sicily. But he 
could not go direct, because he was delayed in North 
Italy. He travelled via Novara so as to see Varallino 
where there are chapels with figures in them which turned 
out to be no good, but they might have been by Taba- 
chetti. Then, after going for a day to salute his friends 
at Varallo, he went to Casale-Monferrato. Here the 
Avvocato Negri took him to Alessandria to see an entomb- 
ment in the church of S. Maria di Castello ; they had 
hoped it might be by Tabachetti, but as soon as they saw 
it they settled it could not be, though it might be by his 
son Nicola. One of the statues represented an old man 
wonderfully like an old man aged eighty-six, who was 
then living at Casale and was a descendant of the great 
Tabachetti ; this old man at Casale had a son with the 
characteristic pointed chin which Tabachetti was fond of 
giving to his figures. 

From Alessandria Butler went through Genoa and Pisa 
to Rome and Naples, thence by steamer, calling at Palermo, 
to Trapani. Here he stated his business and made the 
personal acquaintance of his correspondent Emanuele 
Biaggini, a man of about his own age who had fought 
with Garibaldi and was by his side when he was wounded 


at Aspromonte. Biaggini enthusiastically accepted Butler's 1892 
Odyssean theories and did all in his power to help him. ^^' 5^ 
He took him about, showed him the Scoglio di Malcon- 
siglio, the absence of river, the harbour on one side of the 
sickle-shaped promontory and what was formerly used as 
a harbour on the other. He pointed out two of the 
A^adean islands, namely, Favognana and Levanzo which 
lie off Trapani to the west, and took him about in the 
neighbourhood searching for the scene of Nausicaa's 

Just behind Trapani rises Monte San Giuliano, which 
in classical times was famous as Mount Eryx and is now 
often called Monte Erice. It is about 2500 feet high 
and admirably supplies what was wanted to give point to 
Neptune's threat about burying the city under a great 
mountain. There has been a town upon its summit from 
the earliest ages. It is mentioned by Thucydides, who 
says (quoted on p. 222 of The Authoress of the Odyssey) 
that "some of the Trojans, who had escaped from the 
Greeks, migrated to Sicily. They settled in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Sicans and were all together called Elymi, 
their cities being Eryx and Segesta." Biaggini took 
Butler up the mountain and showed him the magnificent 
view which includes all the four Aegadean islands, namely 
Favognana and Levanzo which he had showed him from 
below, Marettimo which cannot be seen from Trapani 
because Levanzo conceals it, and S. Pantaleo which lies to 
the south and is too near the land and too low to be easily 
distinguishable. When Butler saw Marettimo floating 
over Levanzo, " lying all highest up in the sea to the 
west" he understood that it must have supplied the 
authoress with the original of Ithaca, when she is describ- 
ing it from without. On clear days the view includes 
two more islands, Ustica to the east, and Pantellaria to 
the west, and this last, which is about half way to Africa, 
he at once settled must be the island of Calypso. 

He stayed with the family of Biaggini, which con- 
sisted of Emanuele, Agostino, and three sisters, who 
were spending the summer in their house on the Mountain 
to escape the heat, as is done by most of the well-to-do 


189a Trapanesi. On 4th August 1892, in the morning, 
Act. 56 Peppino Pagoto and some student friends took him to 
I Runzi near the Rock of the Ravens {The Authoress^ 
p. 171). It was a rough walk and in the afternoon, 
after they had returned, Butler slipped on the uneven 
stones in the street of the town and put his foot out of 
joint. He was taken to Biaggini's house and, as the 
doctor was not at home, his assistant, a barber-surgeon, 
Peppino, came and pulled the foot into place again. 
This interested the patient nearly as much as the pre- 
historic remains, because Handel's father was a barber- 

Butler was not what would be called a good patient 
and, the doctor having ordered three weeks of absolute 
quiet in bed, was up the day after the accident and 
going about on crutches ; but he was not able to leave 
the Mountain so soon as he had intended, and all the 
time he was there he stayed in the house of Emanuele 
Biaggini whose sisters with the utmost kindness nursed 
him as much as he would permit, and all the family 
became very much attached to him. 

When Butler fell in the street, Peppino Pagoto was 
the one who helped him to rise and was exceedingly kind 
and attentive to him while he was laid up. Peppino is 
a native of Mount Eryx, that is to say, he is a descendant 
of the Cyclopes who built the megalithic walls of the 
city, and Butler, on discovering this, was delighted, 
because Peppino's face is noticeably round and the name 
Cyclopes means circle-faced, not one-eyed {The Authoress^ 
p. 190). 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

7 Aug. 1892 — I am going on all right and am to go down 
in a carriage to Trapani to-morrow. There are three very nice 
intelligent boys here, aet. 15-18, who have taken me under their 
wing and seem to like fussing with an invalid. They are very 
good and you would like them very much. Then there is a 
black sea-captain [Capitano Messina, since deceased] about 40, 
all fire and fury but a wonderful person. He translated my 
'^ Humour of Homer" into Italian, and I do not think I ever 
saw a finer piece of translation. Just as I hope and think I have 


made my translation read as though it were not a translation, 1892 
so has he — ^it is full of life and vigour. But he is a scorcher. Aet. 56 
About ten years ago he got into some row which made him 
furious; so he went on to the upper deck of his ship, put a 
pistol into his mouth and pulled the trigger ; but the hall came 
out at his eye and lodged in the bone immediately above his eye. 
Finding he had failed, he flung himself into the sea and, when 
fished out of that, had to be bound with cords or he would have 
killed himself with his hands. He was quieted in the end and 
recovered absolute health, with the exception that his eye, of 
course, was gone. 

10 Aug. 1892 — The doctor came to-day and cut open the 
old bandage and made me a new one. I can walk about the 
room without sticks and the doctor says I may ; but, when the 
bandage was ofF, the leg from the toes to the knee, all along the 
left side, was such a mass of rainbow bruises I should have been 
ashamed to ask a dog to eat it. 

He made many friends at Trapani, not only among 
the young students, to some of whom he gave lessons in 
English, but among the elder members of the more staid 
and wealthy families — ^the D'AU, the Platamone, the 
Adragna, the Burgarella. Among these was Conte 
Agostino Sieri Pepofi whose summer residence, Le Torri, 
is on the summit of Monte San Giuliano. " My reception 
generally is overwhelming and quite equal to anything my 
vanity can desire." And again : " I never was treated 
so magnificently as I am here." And again : " They 
treat me like a Royal Personage.'* 

Bufkr to H. F. Jones. 

16 Aug. 1892 — Everyone is exceedingly good to me and I 
have no doubt it will help matters that people should have got to 
know me and feel at home with me ; for here, those who interest 
themselves in the afiair treat me much as at Varallo — I mean as 
though they had known me all their lives. 

When he was sufficiently recovered to hobble about 
he was going through the main street of Erice with 
Biaggini one day and they met a ragged, dirty, but 
robust old priest who looked about seventy-five but was 
said to be some years more than eighty. 


it9» " Jupiter ? " ssdd Biaggini. 

Act. 56 "Giove," at once replied the priest with a strong 
clear voice. 

"Omnetrinumo — ? " said Biaggini. 
** Este perfettimo," was the rejoinder. 
Then Biaggini said, '* Pretere ? " and the priest replied, 
*• Malandrinumo." 

This was the hmous Don Giovanni Sciallara of Mount 
Eryx. The dialogue is really a way of saying, "You do not 
know Latin," and of answering, " Yes, I do." 

"Jupiter?" says the first, meaning "What is the Latin for 
that ? " " Giove is the answer. " Omne trinum — ? " says the 
other, meaning " Now you go on, if you can," and the priest 
continues, " Est perfectum." He is said to refuse a single glass 
of wine y he will not accept less than three because of the 
Trinity, but will take as many threes as any one will give him. 
" Pretere ? " continues the first, meaning " Prete ? (or Priest) 
What's that ? " " Malandrinumo " (A bad man) is the answer. 

This old priest was a great favourite with the people whom 
he used to cure by putting their heads under his cloak and 
mumbling benedictions. If they did not get better it was 
because they wejre wicked. 

It was suggested that he should be got to come and bless my 
foot, but I was afraid it might get about and do me harm at 
Trapani, so I resisted the no small temptation of having my foot 
blessed by him. 

At last Butler was well enough to be driven down to 
Trapani where he stayed, making more friends, going 
about in the neighbourhood to see everything that might 
bear upon the Odyssey^ and getting the local features well 
into his head. He put up at the Albergo delle Cinque 
Torri and slept in a room which had been occupied by 
the Emperor Charles V. The house is no longer used 
as an inn ; it stands where two streets meet and on the 
corner, high up, is a projecting crown surmounting a 
face, both in carved stone ; the face is popularly supposed 
to represent the emperor but, except for the presence of 
the crown, there is no reason for thinking this is so, and 
it is more likely '' una maschera qualunque." 

It was here that the incident mentioned in '* Thought 
and Language" {Essays on Life^ Arty and Science) 


occurred, when the deaf-mute waiter, speaking entirely 189a 
in gesture, told a caller that his friend who wore divided ^^' ^^ 
spectacles, with the heavy eyebrows and the white beard, 
meaning Butler, had had his dinner and gone out about 
five minutes before. This extraordinary fellow is no 
longer a waiter (191 3) but is employed at the railway 
station. We used to think that he was born deaf and 
dumb, but I have since been told that his affliction is the 
result of an accident which occurred when he was about 
five years old, that he is married and has three children. 
His name is Leonardo Rao, but he is generally spoken 
of as ** il Muto '* or ** quel Sordo-Muto." • 

Butler was one day in the church of the Annunziata 
at Trapani, the sanctuary of the famous Madonna di 
Trapani, and it was a festa. 

Some peasants brought in a woman who was afflicted with 
a nervous disorder and whom they supposed to be possessed by 
a devil ; they were elderly people and came fi'om some remote 
country district, but I was told there had been many such on the 
preceding day. The men supported the woman on either side 
and kept shouting : 

"Viva! Viva! Viva Maria!'' 

They were trying to put these words into the mouth of the 
woman, for if she could be got to say them, the devil would 
come out of her. But it is not reckoned quite safe to stand by 
on these occasions, you must shut your mouth and put the fore- 
fingers of each hand in front of it in the shape of the Cross -, for 
if the devil catches you with your mouth open and no Cross in 
fi-ont of it, he will be down your throat in a moment and it may 
be no end of a job to get him up again. I did not see that they 
seemed to make much progress. 

There are still in the remoter districts professional devil- 
brokers who beat the sufferers unmercifully with the intention 
of making things so hot for the devil that he won't stay but 
comes flying out like a wasp or bee. 

It reminded him of what Uncle James had seen at 
Funchal in 1764 (ante, I. p. 8). 

Biaggini took him with some friends to the Grotta 
del Toro in which Ulysses hid his treasure (The Authoress^ 
p. 165). " Next to Malconsiglio this is the prettiest bit 
of identification in the whole matter." They went 


144 MOTYA 


189a beyond, to the caves on Cofano {The Authoress^ p. 193), 
• ^** ^^ where the cave-dwellers " provided us with snow white 
table-cloths and napkins for the lunch which we had 
brought from Trapani, and they gave us any quantity of 
almonds fried in a little salt and butter ; most unexpected 
of all, the salt they brought us was mixed with chervil 
seed" {The Authoress^ p. 194). They went to Custonaci 
where is the sacred picture of the Madonna and where 
they saw ^^ geese eating mash out of a trough as in the 
Odyssey. There is no grass for them to eat." 

Another day he was taken to S. Pantaleo, which is 
the fourth of the Aegadean islands, but not a prominent 
object like the others, because, as I have said before, it 
lies low and near the shore in the direction of Marsala. 
It is the site of Motya, very famous in her day, and 
Butler hoped to find remains that would throw light on 
his theories about the early civilisation of the neighbour- 
hood. In spite of his foot he 

• . . walked witb help all round the island and saw many squared 
stones ready to be taken away. Whenever they find a nice bit 
of stone they re-face it and take it to Marsala which, no doubt, 
is largely built of Motya stones — whence the utter absence of all 
ruins save at the north gate and a vestige of the south. 

On the 23rd August he returned to Palermo where 
he made the acquaintance of Professor Salinas, Director 
of the Museum, and of Professor Romano from whom 
he gathered that Eryx and Cefald contained the most 
noteworthy examples of megalithic remains in the island. 
He went with Professor Romano to Cefali 

. • . and climbed to the upper [Cyclopean] fragments, at mid-day, 
after lunch, in broiling sun ; with my foot still very infirm this 
was not easy, but we did it and were richly rewarded. I know 
not which were the more interesting, the fragments by the 
seaside or those above, but they both prove the city to have been 
the site of a great civilization. No doubt Laestrygonia. 

Then we went to the cathedral, the mosaics in the choir of 
which (date 1 182, etc.) are much the finest of their kind that 
I have ever seen. 

In the train there was a doctor, so I showed him my foot 
and he spoke very seriously about the risk I ran in going about 

ETNA 145 

while it was so much swollen. I let him bandage it next day 1892 
and stayed a day in Palermo for the starch to dry. Act. $6 

He went to Catania and, as there was an eruption of 
Mount Etna, insisted on going up to see it, notwith- 
standing that the doctor in the train had spoken so 
seriously about his foot. He accomplished the excursion 
successfully, as he generally did everything he had once 
fairly set his mind on doing. He started, with an 
Anglicised Swiss whom he happened to meet at Catania, 
on the evening of the 26th August ; they had supper 
at Nicolosi where they got horses which took them half- 
way up the mountain to the place where the main stream 
of lava was coming out. They were from 9 p.m. till 
2' A.M. riding up to this spot, and from 3 to 8 a.m. 
riding down. It was bitterly cold, and a wonderfully 
clear starlight night, with Jupiter larger than he had 
ever seen him. His foot was very painful and his saddle 
intolerable ; yet the sight of the eruption well repaid 

Returning to Catania he went from there to Messina 
and, in the train, got into conversation with a Sicilian 
gentleman who spoke English and pointed out the rocks 
which lie off the coast about half-way between Catania 
and Aci Reale, saying that those were the rocks which 
Polyphemus hurled at Ulysses. He thought he was 
giving a piece of interesting information to an intelligent 
foreigner, but Butler said at once : 

"Excuse me, sir, but that can hardly be, because 
Polyphemus lived on the other side of the island ; I have 
myself been photographed standing in his cave and it 
is near Trapani." 

Finding that the Sicilian gentleman was interested, 
he went on to tell him that his reason for coming to the 
East side of the island was to see these very Scogli 
de' Ciclopi and compare them with the Asinelli and the 
Formiche near Trapani (The jiuthoress^ p. 189), which 
he had made up his mind were really the rocks hurled by 

The Sicilian gentleman was Professor Giovanni 



146 MILK 


1892 Platania of Aci Reale and Catania. I formerly thought 
Act. 56 j^ ^^g i^jg brother Gaetano, and made the mistake of 

saying so in my Diary of a Journey, Giovanni Platania, 
on returning to Aci Reale, recounted to his friend, Mario 
Puglisi Pico, the conversation he had had in the train, 
and they invited Butler to Aci Reale, but he had not 
time to go there that year. 

He went by sea from Messina to Naples where he 
saw the museum and had his foot dressed. He went to 
Cava and 

. . . thence, next morning, to Paestum which deserves all that 
is said of it ; but how immeasurably superior the Temple of 
Neptune is to the others ! It is like fine Norman as against one 
piece of 14th century, and another of late and poor Perpendicular. 
Heaven forgive me if I am talking nonsense ! Thence back to 
Naples and next day to Rome. Not well. Too much knocked 

At Rome he rested ; but his notion of rest did not 
preclude pottering about the Capitol, going up the tower, 
and seeing the prehistoric museum and St. Peter's. He 
wrote to me from Rome, 30th August 1892, and, after 
saying that the authoress of the Odyssey was drawing from 
what she had seen, continued : 

I have found out about the ferry [at Trapani]. In winter, 
after a strong N. wind, the two seas used to meet, and a cart or 
boat was necessary till a few years back when the land was raised. 
The scene is laid in winter and this is the ferry. 

Lastly you remember that, in the country of the Laestrygonians, 
a man who could do without sleep could earn double wages, for 
the shepherds drive out their flocks to feed by night and those that 
come into the town in the morning meet those who are driving 
out the flock for the day, so that, if a man could do without 
sleep, he might earn two wages. 

This means that civilization was so high there that, instead 
of having only a morning supply of milk, as at Trapani and 
Palermo, they had organised a double set of goats and had fresh 
milk in the evening as well. Hence the small local joke about 
the sleepless man [post, p. 246] which enables me to connect 
Laestrygonia with the colossal fragments at Ce&lA, more especi- 
ally as the topographical position between Ustica (the island of 
Aeolus) and the Lipari islands (Circe and the Sirens) is perfect. 
Now is this pretty, or is it not ? 


I have satisfied myself of the exact position of Eumaeus's 1892 
hut and of the Hill of Mercury and of the fountain. All is Act 56 
perfectly clear and easily identifiable. I have also satisfied myself 
that Erjrx was a ruined city in the time of the Odyssey and that 
the great civilization, of which it must have been the seat, must 
be thrown back to a very remote date, even as compared with 
the Odyssiy, However, I must shut up. Scylla and Charybdis, 
though grossly exaggerated, are more genuine than I suspected. 
Scylla really did wreck a large steamer last year, and I saw the 
wreck. Charybdis really does prevent sailing vessels from going 
out, sometimes for three or four days together, and the two are 
very close to one another. There ! I have several other letters 
to write and I am rather tired ; but have I done well or have 
I not ? 

He went from Rome to Cortona to see the walls, 
which he remembered having seen when he went to Italy 
as a boy with his people, and to Florence to refresh his 
memory of the walls at Fiesole which he had told Paget 
to see. After Florence he joined me at Varese. I had 
gone to Varallo where I had met Mademoiselle Gabrielle 
Vaillant and Miss Scott. I went with them over the 
Colma to the Lago di Orta, crossed the Lago Maggiore 
and so to the Sacro Monte above Varese. Butler arrived 
the same day, or the next, full of his Sicilian experiences 
and of the discoveries he had made in confirmation of 
his theories about the Odyssey. 

Emanuele Biaggini to Butler. 

(Translation by Butler) 

12 Sept. 1892 — The name Nausicaa is becoming quite a 
household word here. When people meet a pretty girl they say 
'' Here comes a Nausicaa.'' And then they begin ^king about 
the Odyssey and about you, and run on for hours about our famous 
picnics to the caves of the Scurati, Custonaci, Motya, etc. 


1893 doubtful. I cannot, however, pretend that I can go further than 
AeL 57 admit that the part between Eryx and the town was often an 
island. As for the Western part that you have marked blue — 
that may perfectly well have been water. The Odyssey says 
nothing about it one way or the other, and my argument is not 
affected one way or the other. I have therefore no opposition to 
make to this, and am, with kind regards and many thanks, Yours 
very truly, S. Butler. 

Buder gave the lecture, "The Whitewashing of 
Penelope," referred to in Mrs. Grosvenor's reminiscences, 
in March 1893. This is the letter h'e wrote after it : 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

7 March 1893 — The obligation was entirely on my side j you 
cannot tell what a help it was to me ; and really I thought they 
did seem to like it, which I assure you I had done my level best 
to make them do. 

Mrs. Fuller Maitland has kindly sent me a card for the 15th. 
Of course I shall go. 

I will come to tea to-morrow with great pleasure, and will 
tell Jones, but do not know whether he has not to go to Mile 
Vaillant's for a lesson. 

By the way — do you think you sit too near your large window 
when you have a cold ? It occurred to me yesterday that a small 
fine draught might get in, and nothing turns a slight cold into a 
bad one more quickly. Also, I find I have not had one single 
cold since last August — a thing for me unprecedented. I attribute 
this to wearing soft flannel night- shirts instead of calico, and to 
keeping well away from my windows during the winter when 
reading or writing. 

As for your proposal I am sure it will be a great pleasure to 
fall in with it when I know what it is, which I shall no doubt do 
to-morrow afternoon. 

This Easter we went to Brussels and Dinant for Butler 
to continue his researches about Tabachetti, and this Easter 
I left Barnard^s Inn because the place was sold and partly 
pulled down. I found new rooms at i Staple Inn, and 
began to live there. The night-watchman at Staple Inn 
was named Hatt, and was quite as much of an old fossil 
as Tom at Barnard *s Inn ; but he did not call the hours 
during the night. Cousens, who lived in the Inn, was 


ROSES 151 

talking to him about the garden, and Hatt said, speaking 1893 
very deliberately : ^^^' ^^ 

" Most of these flowers, Sir, I planted them myself. 
Not all of them. Most of them." 

"I suppose you arc interested in gardening," said 
Cousens ; ** have you a garden at home ? " 

" Not exactly at home, Sir ; but I have a bit of a 
garden on the railway. The North London Railway." 

" And what kind of soil is it ? " 

" Well, Sir, it's a kind of a redooced loam, it ia." 

** That's an uncbmmon kind of soil." 

" You see, Sir, it's like this ; when the railway come 
along, it took oflF the surface and that redooced it." 

" Oh, I see. And what kind of flowers do you grow 
there ? " 

"Roses. Roses. There's the glory di John. He 
do very well. And William Allen. He's all right. And 
the Duchess of Connaught. She's got the worm." 

We told Butler, and he said he could see possibilities 
in old Hatt ; he might have come out of Dickens. 

Bufkr to Mrs. Bovill. 

April %th, 1893. 

Dear Mrs. Bovill — I did not get back till 5.^0 yesterday 
afternoop and could not have got to at. Andrew's Place in time 
— you will, I am sure, see that this is bona fide. 

I am extremely sorry to hear that you have been anxious 
about Merric ; I will call to-morrow afternoon and enquire. 
I hope I shall find him all right again, and I hope also you will 
be better yourself, but what with cold^ nursing^ and rehearsing 
I hardly expect that you will be up and about, and shall be very 
glad to find myself mistaken. I go to Shrewsbury on Monday 
afternoon and shall return on Thursday or Friday. Any day 
after then will suit me perfectly well, and I assure you Alfred 
and I will do our best to turn out some nice negatives [photo- 
graphs of her room]. I got some snapshots during this Easter 
that ought to turn out well. I took a mean advantage of a little 
boy and a little girl who, I suppose, had not very long had their 
breakfast. They were by the road-side and I hope the negative 
will be successful, but I can only show it by leaving it about to 
be seen — ^any emphasised calling of attention to it will be out of 
the question. 



1893 I hope I shall hear that you are pretty well to-morrow, or 

Aet. 57 else I shall begin to feel that I am like the man who said, '* I 
had a friend once, but, damn her, she was always catching cold.*' 
With kind regards, Believe me always yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

In June, Butler's uncle, Philip Worsley, the fether of 
Reginald Worsley, died, and Butler went to the funeral 
which gave him another opportunity of wearing his 
silk hat. 

In July he went to Shrewsbury for the School 
Speech-day. . * 

JowETT AT Shrewsbury 

Jowett came down to the Shrewsbury School speeches last 
week, and I was asked to meet him at clinner at Moss's house. 
I heard the speech he made — it was a sermon not a speech— on 
the duties of a master and on those of a schoolboy. He read it, 
badly, and it bored everyone. Seeing, therefore, how old, feeble, 
and dull he was, I determined to keep out of his wtiy and not to 
try and draw him about the Odyssey. I was put to sit pretty 
near him at dinner, but we did not speak — we hardly could. 
Nor did we speak after dinner. In the drawing-room I kept 
near the door, right at the other end of the room, while he 
seemed well occupied with those who were round him. Pres- 
ently, however, he rose, toddled across the room and came 
up to me. 

'^ I think I have had the pleasure of meeting you here before, 
Mr. Butler." 

" Yes, Sir, but I did not think you would remember me." 

" Oh, I remember you very well ; you know how heartily 
we all laughed over your Erewhon — and moreover, there was 
a great deal of truth in that book." 

" It was like everything ^he. Sir, true, and not true." 

** Well, yes, I suppose that is it." 

''And then, Erewhon was published more than twenty years 
ago, and I have never succeeded in making you all laugh again." 

" But have you ever tried ? " 

**Oh yes, I have written a good many books since Erewhon*^ 

" How is it, then, that I have never heard of any of them ? " 

''I suppose. Sir," I said, laughing, ''because they failed to 

attract attention ; but a year ago I did mpelf the honour of 

sending you a pamphlet on the Humour of Homer, and another 

this spring on the Sicilian provenance of the Odyssey?^ 

s "Ah, to be sure, I remember there was something of the 


kind, but I have so many of those things sent me that — well — 1893 
to speak frankly I never read either of them." Act. 57 

" Why should you, Sir ? It was proper of me to send them 
as a mark of respect which I should have been sorry to omit, but 
I had very little idea that you would read them." 

I kept on smiling all the time, but was particularly careful 
not to try and draw him, or tell him anything. He then turned 
the subject on to Dr. Butler, and assured me that everyone 
interested in the classics would read my Life of him, whereon 
we talked for another five minutes or so and parted very 

The conversation, however, confirmed pie in the opinion 
I had formed already, that very few people know any of my 
books except Erewhon which hangs rather as a millstone about 
my neck. ^ 

On the 14th of July Butler left London alone, and 
went, via Basel and the S. Gottardo, to Casale where the 
Avvocato Negri, who had been continuing his investiga- 
tions about ^Tabachetti, communicated the results to him, 
and Butler in return told him what he had found out at 
Dinant. He then went on through Rome and spent 
some time among the ancient cities between Rome and 
Naples. The megalithic walls fascinated him. He did 
not find much at Sora, but at Arpino — ^' Qualche cosa di 
stupendo ! " 

The walls [he wrote to me] are a conglomerate of diluvial 
stones embedded in lime — verv large, but hardly so colossal as 
those of Erice and Cefald. Throughout thei:e is a kind of wild 
ovarian tumour sort of mad yearning after regularity, of course, 
but it is never reached, though here and there they seemed close 
on it — like my father's whistling of the Easter hymn ; he had 
got it, but he hadn't got it right. *\ 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


24 July 1893 — At Atina [the. walls were] of less interest 
but still enough to show that those devils, whoever they were, 
were there. Yesterday I left for Veroli and Alatri, the first 
very interesting. The second — Good heavens ! the gate went 
through a Cyclopean wall 90 feet thick — and such stones ! 

My driver crooned all the time, beginning on the dominant 
and droning on it ever so long, then tumbling down like 




1893 "Nilus* flow"^ to the supertonic, resting a short space, then up 
^^^ 57 to the dominant and down again through the supertonic to the 
tonic on which he droned as he had done on the dominant. 
This he repeated over and over again with a very strange and 
sweet efFect i but, at last, he came to an end, and judge of my 
surprise when the last time, instead of droning on the tonic, he 
walked leisurely through the leading note and droned on the 
submediant, after which he was mute. For God*s sake ask 
Rockstro what that meant.^ 

At VeroH in the upper Pelasgic town, close by the Pelasgic 
walls, I came upon a street ball— everyone dancing in the street. 
I never knew what dancing was before, I could have looked at it 
for hours. Each partner gave his or her right hand to his or 
her partner, male or female, taking the partner s left hand. They 
danced at one another and to one another all the time — old men 
with old men, old women with old women, boys, girls, young 
men, young women, every one higgledy-piggledy with every one. 
All so terribly in earnest that even my camera was powerless 
to attract them. The music, on an accordion, was : 

et cetera ad infinitum ; no variation of any kind. Tune would 
have been a disturbance and impertinence that should only appear 
when there was need of such vanity.' 

I dined in the kitchen with mine host in his shirt-sleeves, my 
driver, mine hostess and the boy, all in our shirt-sleeves. All 
this at Veroli and thence to Aiatri, and there ! fleas and dirt 
beyond all words. . . . Well, here at Ferentino the walls are not 
less interesting and the inn is cleaner. I asked the landlord what 
was the best inn at Segni. He said it did not matter ; that if 

^ He is thinking of N^rcUnu and means ** Nilus' tide." 

Shall I to Egypt's dusky bonds 
A portion of my wealth confide. 

Where Memnon*s fabled voice responds 
To morning's ray o'er Nilus' tide ? 

* It appears from a subsequent letter that it was like this : 





Last time, 


I showed it to Rockstro but got nothing out of him except that it was in the 
Aeolian mode. 

* This is how they danced in the Odyssey after the death of the suitors. 



a man had quattrini all inns were good. I said I differed from 1893 
him — ^all depended on the cuore in dentro dell' albergatore, if that Act. ^y 
was good a few quattrini would go a long way ; if that was bad 
ever so many quattrini would hardly produce any effect at all. 
He immediately pulled out a snuff-box of strong snuff and gave 
me a pinch which was very refreshing. At the same moment 
his wife entered — seized the water-bottle and, seeing I wanted 
no more, sprinkled it all over the floor, in the name, I am sure, 
of the blessed gods that live in heaven. 

Address " Poste Restante, Aci Reale, Sicily." 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

CoRi, about 28 July 1893. 

Dear Jones — I wrote yesterday, but have rather a reason 
for writing again to-day, but it is not worth mentioning. 
I left Segni at 5.15 on a pony with a guide. The landlord 
insisted on coming too. I do not see why he should and I 
don't like him but I found it hard to shake him off without 
an open rupture. It was a lovely ride of 7 hours all among 
the mountains to Norma where the walls are quite up to the 
others. Then two hours seeing these same walls and four more 
coasting along the side of the Apennines to Cori, about 1500 
feet above the Pontine Marshes which lay like a map beneath — 
very fine. At Cori in the hotel, which is still excessively bad, I 
fancy that I can descry, etc. The walls, so £ir as I have seen 
them, more full of suggestion than any I have yet seen. 

Not to be too mysterious, since beginning this I have made 
up my mind. I suspect the landlord of putting some gaol-bird- 
like looking fellows at Norma up to way-laying me on my return 
over the mountains. I am not going to have this, so I shall send 
my horse back with him and the guide, and go round by tram 
and railway which is feasible, and I have told the kndlorcl that I 
do not feel well and shall do this. You may take your oath to 
that. It will cost me 3 or 4 francs but it will make matters 
safe. — S. B. 

This was disturbing, and I showed the post card to 
Rockstro ; he assumed that the worst had happened and 
wrote to me that he had lain awake all night *^ trying to 
guess how much ransom the fiends would demand " ; we 
were both inexpressibly relieved when the next post card 
came beginning ^^ I am now at Aci Reale." 

The broken sentence about his fancying he can descry 
in the inn, which is still excessively bad, etc., is a 


1893 reminiscence of a school incident which he introduced into 

^' 57 The fFay of All Flesh (chap, xliv.), where Dr. Skinner, 

speaking to Ernest about the copy of Alcaics on the 

dogs or the monks of St. Bernard, says what Dr. Kennedy 

had said to Butler : 

"In this copy of Alcaics — which is still excessively 
bad — I fancy that I can discern some faint symptom of 

Alfred had as much difficulty with Aci Reale as he 
had had with "caparisoned." First he called it Acki-Ahly. 
I said : 

" No, Alfred. That's not right. It is Aci Reale." 

" Well, that's what I said. Sir." 

" You said Acki-Ahly." 

"Isn't that it. Sir.?" 

" No ; it's Aci Reale." 

" Well, let me try again — Ackilli-Ahly ; there, that's 
right, isn't it. Sir .? " 

As he wrote it correctly on the envelopes and none of 
the letters ever miscarried, we agreed that this was near 
enough and accurate pronunciation was excused. 

Butler's friends at Aci Reale got him to write some 
articles about his Odyssey theory tor the Rassegna della 
Letter atur a Siciliana^ a magazine then being edited by 
Mario Puglisi Pico. They also did him the honour of 
electing him a Socio Corrispondente both of the Accademia 
di Scienze Lettere ed Arti de' Zelanti di Aci Reale and 
of the Accademia Dafnica di Scienze Lettere e delle Arti 
in Aci Reale. 

Butler also wrote for // Lambruschini^ a scholastic 
periodical published at Trapani. All that he wrote in 
these papers was used up as material for The Authoress of 
the Odyssey. 

He went for a long day to Siracusa and was taken 
round by Politi who showed him all the antiquities. In 
the absence of polygonal walls he had to be contented 
with early Greek work. He passed through Palermo 
where he spent a morning in the museum with the early 
Etruscan work and the metopes from Selinunte and then 
went on to Trapani. 


Here he reconsidered the sites of the Grotta del 1893 
Toro and the cave where Ulysses hid his treasure, and ^^ ^^ 
saw that the bay of S. Cusumano must be the harbour 
Reithron of the Odyssey, He went with Biaggini up the 
Mountain, and Conte Pepoli showed him, in his garden, 
the remains of an old wall and, in the light of all the 
experience he had gathered between Rome and Naples, 
he reconsidered the walls of Eryx, He returned to the 
site of the hut of Eumaeus near the Ruccazzii dei Corvi, 
but there were not so many ravens there as there used to 
be formerly, probably because the Count had attracted 
them away to Le Torn. And he settled that the old 
city on the Mountain must have been the original of 
Hypereia in the Odyssey. 

From the Mountain he saw the island of Pantellaria, 
about half-way to Africa. This he had settled was 
Calypso's island and, as he was told that there were 
Cyclopean walls and nuraghi there, he determined to 
visit it. He stopped at the island of Favognana on his 
way, and when he got to Pantellaria stayed several days 
there examining all he could find, and making notes 
about the walls and the prehistoric remains, and after- 
wards returned to Mount Eryx. In one of his letters 
to me he gave some account of his stay in the island : 

I went on my mule to the top of the mountain accompanied 
by my guide who was very like the busts of Socrates ['' Ramblings 
in Cheapside"]. The bunches of grapes sprawled on the hot 
earth like heaps of amber beads. I ate too many or something 
and was very unwell. ... I found the cottages of the peasants 
scrupulously clean, the perfection of neatness and cleanliness. 
Dr. Errera [the Sindaco] assures me that this in the country 
is universal. They wall all their orange trees round with a hign 
circular wall with a door — sometimes 20 feet of wall. They say 
it is to protect the trees from the wind. 

I can say nothing about the excellent arciprete, with his 
vestments and spectacles all covered with snuiF and his teeth 
like the stump stones of a Pelasgic wall. Nor yet of Dr. Errera, 
the pretore, the maresciallo and the two other most amiable men 
with whom I supped nightly. It is too hot and I am too tired. 

Butler sent the following two post cards to Mrs. 
Bovill, who was staying at The Vicarage, Chorley Wood. 



1893 They are both dated 22 Agosto 1893, and were posted 
^^^' 5^ at Monte San Giuliano, Trapani : 

Post card No. i • 

Dear Mrs. Bovill — I heard from Jones last night and feel 
convinced of sin in not having written ; it is not that I have so 
much to do, as that these good people here will not let me do 
anything at all. No sooner do I sit down than first one comes 
and then another — nor are they by any means proficients in the 
art of going. However — I brought it all on myself. Why could 
not I have let the Odyssey alone ? I have revised another six bks 
of which I send you a sample on another card. I don't see that 
the second 12 bks are materially less interesting than the first. 
It was very kind of you to perk Jones up by asking him to 
Chorlcy Wood. I wish Ch. Wd. were within reach, for I want 
a little attention myself — something has disagreed with me or 
I have disagreed with something, and this two days past I am a 
wreck. I expect I shall be all right to-morrow. I went to the 
island of Pantellaria. I and the judge, the Sindaco and the head 
of the military used to dine without our coats in the street 
outside the restaurant ; when I went away they would not let 
me pay my bill, and all accompanied me on board a mile from 
shore. — Kind regards, S. B. 

Post card No. 2. 


xviii. 214. " Telemachus," said she addressing her son, "I 
fear you are no longer conducting yourself so discreetly as 
ou used to do. When you were younger you had more sense, 
ut now you are grown up, though a stranger to look at you 
would take you for the son of well-to-do people as far as size 
and good looks go, he would be mistaken, for your conduct has 
been by no means what it should have been. What is all this 
disturbance that has been going on, and how came you to allow a 
stranger to be so disgracefully ill-treated ? It is most discreditable 
to you that such usage should have been offered to anyone who 
came as a suppliant to our house." 

" I am not surprised, my dear mother, at your displeasure,** 
replied Telemachus. "I have come to ^ears of understanding 
and know perfectly well when things are not as they should be, 
which I could not do when I was younger, but I cannot always 
keep my temper. First one and then another of these wicked 
people here keeps driving me out of my mind." 




Butler to H. F. Jones. 


22 y/ug, 1893 — ^hile in bed this morning I heard a voice 
singing in the street accompanied by a fiddle and 'cello ; it 
seemed like a boy's voice : 

Act. 57 

This he repeated over and over again, but never twice the 
same exactly ; it was lovely — the voice very " simpatica." I went 
to the window and found it came from a little, blind, old man 
who sang falsetto. He played such a fiddle [ and his mate played 
the violoncello. Then he changed and sang a more complicated 
tune. So I got him and asked him to do the first over again. 
He could not. He never sings the same twice, but makes up 
his tune as he goes on and then forgets it. He ought to be 
followed night and day by a musical amanuensis. 

24 j/ug, 1893 — I am still shaky and have to keep quiet. 
The general consent is that I got it at Pantellaria, which I 
believe I did, and from drinking goat's milk when the goat was 
in the fiunily way, which seems to be thought here next door to 
poison. I have it borne in upon me that it was this. The 
Count [Pepoli] sends me excellent water from the castle every 
day. Biaggini has sent a couple of bottles of extra special wine, 
so I am to drink good wine and water and forswear goat's milk, 
otherwise I never was better in my life. . . • 

That blind man who sings so beautifully has hardly got any 
nose — it is smashed in at the bridge. When he lies, he says : 

'^ May God smash my nose and strike me stone blind if I am 
not speaking the truth." 

I heard him again last night. His range of melody is limited 
to the class of song in vogue among the Sicilian peasants, but 
within that range I never heard anything to compare with it. 
What the quality of voice is I know not, but I should think 

I have just caught this from him, but it is always varied — 
never the same twice -, and as long as he chooses to sing one 
must listen. 

i6o SELINUNTE xxxi 

1893 This blind singer and his mate with the *celIo travel 

^^^ 57 about the country ; I met them once at Fiesole, and I 

have met them also in Palermo. From the Mountain 

Butler went to Calatafimi, stopping on the way at Castel- 

vetrano to see Selinunte : 

Waiting to be Hired 

At Castelvetrano I had to start the next morning at 4 a.m. 
to see the ruins of Selinunte and slept lightly with my window 
open. About 2 o'clock I began to hear a buzz of conversation 
in the piazza outside my window and it kept me awake, so I got 
up to shut the window and see what it was. I found it came 
from a long knot of men standing about, two deep, but not 
strictly marshalled. When I got up, at half-past three, it was 
still dark and the men were still there though perhaps not so 
many. I enquired and found they were standing to be hired for 
the day. Any one wanting labourers would come there, engage 
as many as he wanted and go off with them, others would come 
up and so qti till about four, after which no one would hire, the 
day being regarded as short in weight after that hour. Being so 
collected, the men gossip over their own and other people's affairs 
— wonder who that fine-looking stranger going about yesterday 
with Nausicaa was, etc. [Odyssey vi. 273]. This, in &ct, is 
their club and the place where the public opinion of the district 
is formed. 

At Selinunte he found the ruins as impressive as 
possible, with the stones even larger than those used in the 
walls of Eryx but 

. . . the work is all Greek, not a trace of anything Pelasgic 
There can be no doubt that the columns were thrown down by 
an earthquake. No human enemies would have taken the trouble 
to make the destruction so thorough. Not even Christians. 

Just as I was leaving Castelvetrano station a little newspaper 
boy, of about 9 or 10 years old, came up to me, smiled, said 
^ Scusi " and kissed my hand, the train moving off" as he did so. 

The train took him from Castelvetrano to Calatafimi, 
from which one starts to visit Segesta. Eryx and Segesta 
were the two towns of the Elymi and, having seen the 
first, he had to see the second. Emanuele Biaggini had 
given him an introduction to Cavaliere Biagio Ingroja 


xzzi GARIBALDI i6i 

who, with the Avvocato Cabasino, met him at the station 1S93 
and they drove up together. ^^ 57 

Calatafimi is also famous in modern history. When 
it was known in i860 that Garibaldi was coming to Sicily 
with his thousand men, the English wine-merchants at 
Marsala applied to the British Government for protection, 
as there was likely to be fighting. Two of our ships 
were accordingly told off to do what was necessary, and 
they did it in such a way that Garibaldi was able to 
land with little difficulty at Marsala, whence he marched 
to Calatafimi and there won his first victory over the 
Neapolitans. Of course we were not to be blamed if the 
evolutions of our ships, necessary for the protection of 
our wine -merchants, incidentally happened to protect 
Garibaldi ; nevertheless it was known that our sympathies 
were with him, and the propriety and correctness with 
which we managed the business were quite in the Italian 
manner. It will be remembered that during the revolu- 
tion they themselves were writing " Viva Verdi " on every 
blank wall that offered — z perfectly innocent thing to do ; 
of course they were not to be blamed if their ravourite 
composer's name happened to be formed of the initial 
letters of the words Vittorio Emanuele Re D' Italia, 
The Sicilians never forget, and this throws some light 
upon their great love for the English, especially in this 
corner of the island, where I have repeatedly been told 
the story of Garibaldi's landing. 

In 1862 Garibaldi made a tour in Sicily in order to 
raise a band of volunteers to march on Rome, and the 
first place he went to from Palermo was Calatafimi. 
He attended service in the Church of the Crocefisso to 
receive the Benediction of the Holy Sacrament After 
the ceremony Ingroja, who was then an enthusiastic young 
priest, preached the sermon, which was less a sermon than 
a passionate outburst of patriotic aspiration. The con- 
gregation was in an uproar, and Garibaldi, who knew how 
to seize an opportunity, left his prie-Dieu in front of the 
altar, approached Ingroja as he descended the pulpit steps, 
seized both his hands, thanked him and inquired : 

** Of course I may not take your place r " 




1893 Ingroja replied that on the contrary the pulpit was at 

Act, 57 his service. Garibaldi mounted it and poured forth his 
soul to the people, dwelling upon the idea of United Italy 
with Rome as her capital, and saying in conclusion that if 
all priests were like Ingroja the political situation they all 
deplored would soon be settled to their satisfaction. 

After church Garibaldi visited the battlefield, the scene 
of his victory two years before, and then returned to the 
house on which there is now a marble tablet stating 
that he lodged there in i860 and in 1862. Recognising 
Ingroja among those present to receive him, he came to 
him, embraced him and kissed him three times, once on 
each cheek and once on the forehead. Then he went out 
on the balcony and made another speech to the people, in 
which he summarised all that had been said in church that 
morning, and, for the first time, uttered the historic 
words : 

" Roma o Morte ! " 

From Calatafimi he went to Trapani and Marsala, 
returned to Palermo, and so on through the island making 
speeches everywhere, and everywhere repeating " Roma o 
Morte ! '\ 

Ingroja, when Butler made his acquaintance, had left 
the church, married and settled down to his profession of 
schoolmaster. They were of the same age, within a year, 
and became fast friends. Ingroja was indefatigable in 
helping Butler in his Odyssean studies, and his sugges- 
tions, unlike Sugameli's, never led to any embarrassment. 
He looked forward to Butler's annual visits as to the 
visits of a brother, and Buder, in dedicating The Authoress 
of the Odyssey to him afterwards, spoke of him as his 
" prezioso alleato." 

Ingroja took Butler to the temple of Segesta, whose 
date, 460-409 B.C., he readily accepted. They then went 
up the height to see the remains of the town and the 
theatre. Judging by the stones of the theatre he thought 
its date might be about 800-700 b.c. What was the 
date of the town of Segesta ? From here Eryx is dis- 
tinctly visible and Segesta on its height, lying to the east 
of Eryx and glowing in the rays of the setting sun, must 


have been a prominent object in the view from the i«f3 
Mountain, and therefore familiar to the authoress of the ^^' ^' 
Odyssey y who, however, never mentions it. He could not 
believe that she "would have been able to keep her 
tongue oflF" Segesta " if it had been in existence in her 
day " ; nor would she have described the Phaeacians as 
dwelling beyond the reach of enemies, as she has done, if 
there was a city so near as Segesta — ^unless, of course, it 
were as yet only an insignificant place. 

Thb Date of Segesta 

In this case the date of the foundation of Segesta is to be 
placed somewhere prior, at the latest, to 800 bx. (as being assuredly 
considerably prior to the [Corinthian] colonies of Siracusa etc.) 
but later than 11 00 or 1050 b.c which is as late as I dare put 
the Odyssiy, The Odyssey however might well go back as far as 
1 150 or 1200 B.C., earlier than which I do not think it should be 
placed. Roughly I should make a shot at about 1000 ± as the 
date of the foundation of Segesta. 

Before leaving Sicily he went to Aci Reale to correct 
the proofs of a pamphlet in Italian about the Odyssey ^ and 
then turned north via Messina, Naples, and Rome to 
Casale. He would not go to Varallo because of some- 
thing that had occurred in the Crucifixion chapel on the 
Sacro Monte. 

This chapel contains from twenty to thirty life-size 
terra-cotta coloured figures, and on the frescoed walls and 
ceiling are painted about 150 more figures. All the 
frescoes and, with the exception of the Christ upon the 
Cross, all the statues were designed and executed by 
Gaudenzio Ferrari who used for the Christ an older and 
very impressive wooden figure, already much venerated, 
no doubt intending that its popularity and its slightly 
greater archaism should detach it from those around it and 
thereby enhance the austere solemnity of the scene. 

This grave old Christ was deposed. We had seen it . 
in the Sacristy, its long, thin arms stretching helplessly 
over the edge of the table on which it was lying ; and on 
the Cross, under Gaudenzio's weeping angels, there was a 

1 64 HANS FAESCH xxxi 

it93 shocking new plaster image which might have been turned 
Act. 57 QUI; i^ ji couple of mornings by the old Jew sculptor we 
had seen working at Crea. It was like coming upon an 
emendation by the late Sir George Macfarren in a Palestrina 
mass. The strange Christ was still on the Cross, and 
Butler marked his sense of the slight to Gaudenzio by 
refusing to go to Varallo. He wrote to Dionigi Negri 
that he would come no further up the valley than Borgo- 
Sesia where he should be happy to see any of his friends 
who cared to come down and meet him. Eight of them 
came, and they dined together. 

As soon as he returned to London he wrote to The 
Times (17th October) detailing all the circumstances. 
Arienta complained to the authorities in Rome, and the 
old figure was replaced. Three negatives of Gaudenzio's 
Crucifixion chapel taken by Butler were lent by him to 
assist in the restitution of the original figure. 

There is no longer any fear of a repetition of this kind 
of sacrilege at Varallo. Dionigi Negri told me, in 1 904, 
that the Administration has awakened to the fact that it 
possesses a valuable' and unique work of art, and intends 
to take proper care of it for the futiu-e. 

A/fred to H. F. Jones. 

22 Sept. 1893 — ^Thc Governor arrived home safe last evening. 
I thought him looking very well, only a little thin, but now he 
is home again he will pick it all up before Xmas. I was very 
glad to see him after such a long absence, and so was he to see me 
again. I will not bully him more than I can help, but only a 
little teasing at times for that is only Ali'^'* nature and he does 
not really mean it. 

I had started for my holiday about the time that 
Butler returned ; we met for a few days in Switzerland, 
and I went on into Italy alone. On my return to London, 
in the train between Basel and Calais, I made the acquaint- 
ance of a young Swiss from Basel, Hans Rudolf Faesch. 
He was coming to London to learn our language and our 
business ways, and, when we parted at Charing Cross, 
promised to call on me, which he did in October. I took 
him to see Butler, who was much attracted by him, and he 

■ ■■ • ■JIW^P'— ^p-"— •^w^^i^'w^^w 


was constantly with us, coming out for walks on Sunday 1193 
and spending the evenings with us. He found employ- ^^'* ^-^ 
ment in a business house in the city, and remained in 
London about a year and a half. 

The family of Faesch, which in French is spelt Fesch, 
has been long established in Basel ; its most distinguished 
member was Gu*dinal Joseph Fesch, the half- uncle of 
Napoleon. I take the following from the Biographii 
UniverseUe (Michaud) : 

Fesch (Joseph) Cardinal, archevfique de Lyon, primat des 
Gaules, etc, jtait frere utdrin de Laetitia Ramolino, mire de 
Napol&on I*. II naquit k Ajaccio le 3 Janvier 1763. Son pire, 
Francois Fesch, toit Suisse, d'une famille de B^e ais^ et con* 
sid^ree; un de ses ancfitres avait ttt bourgmestre de cette im* 
portante citt, Capitaine dans un regiment helvitique au service 
de G£nes, Francois Fesch suivit son regiment en Corse, alors sous 
la domination de cette republique. II y connut Angile-Marie 
Pietra-Santa, \euve en premieres noces de Ramolino ; Laetitia 
hsh le seul enfant de ce manage primaturiment brisi par la 
mort. Francois s'iprit des charmes de la jeune veuve. 

The captain being a Protestant there were difficulties, 
but he changed his religion and married the widow by 
whom he had one child, afterwards known as Cardinal 
Joseph Fesch, the half-brother of Laetitia Ramolino. 

One of our favourite ways of spending Sunday was to 
take Hans Faesch by a morning train to Gravesend and 
walk to Gadshill, stopping on the way for a glass of beer 
at a certain public-house. The landlady was one of those 
who enjoy bad health, but the precise nature of her com- / 

plaint was obscure. She was always well enough to attend 
to us personally, and Butler used to make a point of 
inquiring sympathetically after her symptoms. 

" I trust, ma'am, you are feeling better ? " inquired he 
one Sunday in what was almost the professional bed-side 

" Oh, sir, I am a great sufferer," replied the landlady, 

" Are you sleeping fairly well ? *' 

" Yes, thank you, sir." 

" Is your appetite pretty good ? " 

" Yes, thank you, sir." 


1 66 


Aet. 57 

" You do not sufFer from palpitations ? " 

" No, sir, thank you." 

" Are your ? " 

Here the inquiries became so particular and intimate 
that Hans, who already had nearly disgraced himself, had 
to be bundled out into the road as quickly as possible. 

At Gadshill, the scene of one of FalstafPs classic ex- 
ploits, just as Mount Eryx is the scene of the classic 
events in the Odyssey ^ we had lunch and walked on to a 
neighbouring station from which we returned to London. 

Another of our walks was to Harrow Weald, where 
there was a public-house kept by two old ladies and their 
niece, and the niece resembled the portraits of Queen 
Elizabeth. Buder often had his satchel full of new-laid 
eggs which he had bought at some farm-house on the 
way. One day as he was saying sood-bye to the old 
ladies and Queen Elizabeth, afraid of crushing his eggs in 
the narrow passage, he said : 

** I must be careful as I go out ; you know, I feel like 
a woman in the family way.' 

** Get along with you," replied one of the old ladies in 
a state of high delight ; ** what do you know about such 
things ? " 

On the 25 th September he told me in a letter that 
through Russell G)oke (his solicitor) he had sent a copy 
of an article he had written for his friends at Aci Reale to 
Mr. Gladstone. " He won't look at it, still I thought 
it better to send it." 

Butler to Mrs. BavilL 

10 Oct. 1893 — Thank you for your encouraging letter. 
There are ten more books to do. I have gone through them 
again during mv summer outing and am now copying them out 
isur, for I have nacked the original MS. about. 

I hope you feel that, lovely and brilliant as it is, it is the 
hand of a delightful woman and not of a man that is holding the 
pen. It may be only my fancy but I seem to see this in every 

ge. It does not matter where one opens it, I always feel it. 

don't think any of the remaining books are less interesting 
than the two you have just had. Snnu these wherever ym like \ 



and, any day next week that you like to name, bring Merric to 1S93 
tea and I shall then have two more books ready for you. ^^^' 57 

The Authors' Syndicate people cannot get a publisher to 
undertake my translation. I am in no hurry, for I do not want 
to take any steps myself just now — ^not in fact till the MS. is 
quite completed. 

jii/reJ to H. F. Jones. 

16 Oct. 1893 — ^ ^^ ^^^y sorry to have to tell you that the 
Governor was robbed of his watch-chain on Saturday night, about 
10, in Fetter Lane by one of those prigs that hang about the 
Lsuie mostly outside the Busy Bees. The thief put his arms 
around the poor Gov'*, snatched his chain which broke at the 
swivel, thereby leaving the watch in his pocket, and then bolted. 
Of course the Gov'* could not follow him, so the blackguard got 
away. It gave the Gov'* a dreadful scare, but I am by his side 
to comfort him and cheer him and pull him through. 

I shall be very pleased to have the honour of meeting you on 
Thursday if you let me know the time you arrive at Charing X. 

Rockstro had been robbed a short time before in full 
daylight in Albemarle Street, or one of those streets going 
north from Piccadilly. I told him about Butler's loss 
and he wrote : " Wlut a shame to rob dear old Butler ! 
My chain broke also and saved my watch in exactly the 
same way." 

Butler wrote to The Times a letter headed " Robbery 
in the Streets" and signed "A Victim," but nothing 
came of it. There is a word of Alfred's in the first of 
the following chain of letters to Mrs. Bovill — " stresses." 
He meant "tresses," having been told that Mrs. Bovill 
was undergoing some treatment for her hair. My being 
" good for nothing " means that I had been or was ill. 
" La Musa " is the name of the picture which was used 
as the frontispiece of The Authoress. 

Butler to Mrs, Bovill. 

20 Nov. 1893 — ^^ please, I will call for the 8 books on 
Wednesday at 4.30, but I must be home early as Jones is very 
good for nothing and I shall want to get up to him as soon as I can. 

I am getting the whole thing together and mean trying 
a literary agent — true, the Authors' Society man was a literary 
agent and he could do nothing, but I will try another. 

1 68 ALFRED 

1893 £nclosed from Alfred please keep till I come on Wednesday. 

Aet 5S He told Jones all about your " poor stresses " as he called them. 
About La Musa the dialogue after you were gone was : 

^You know, Sir, I knew you had another copy and I did 
not know any one worthier to have it than Mrs. Bovill: I 
thought if I brought it out while she was there you would say 
she was to have it, so I showed it to her** — so you see it is 
Alfred's little attention not mine, but he was a little uneasv 
about having said ^^ female," till I reassured him and said I felt 
sure you would overlook it this time if it did not occur again. 

So glad you are satisfied with the last 4 books. 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

9 Dec. 1893 — ^ think you will be rather expecting a call 
from me to-morrow afternoon to which I was myself looking 
forward, but on my return on Thursday I found Alfred in bed 
with severe rheumatism and cold. I have sent the man who 
attends on Jones [Dr. GreatRex] and who, also, by the way, 
was a prot^g4 more or less, of old Dr. Butler's and he says that 
Alfred must not get up before Tuesday next, and then must not 
stir out for a week after leaving his bed. To keep such a parched 
pea as Alfred in tolerable obedience will be no easy matter, but at 
present he is too much bowled over to want to get up. Therefore 
on my return from my walk to-morrow, instead of getting out at 
Portland Road, I shall do so at King's Cross and go and sit with 
Alfred. He is well looked after, I assure you, and I am not in 
the least uneasy about him, only it is a time when he will expect 
that due attention should be shown him. 

Besides though the doctor vows that there is no influenza 
about it, I have my suspicions ; please consider, then, that I have 
stolen a pair of socks, or some sausages, or at any rate am under 
a social cloud till the patient requires less attention and we know 
better what the mischief precisely is. 

P.S. — I shan't be able to smoke at Alfted's. 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

17 Dec. 1893 — ^ ^^^' come and see you, please, at 4.30 
to-morrow. Alfred is much better and was allowed out for half 
an hour to-day ; I am no longer uneasy about him, provided he 
will be moderately prudent. 

About cigarettes. There is no house in which a determined 


smoker cannot smoke without being found out. If you put your 1S93 
head well near the chinmey and send the smoke well up it, it can Aet. 5S 
be done quite safely. I do not mean to say it is nice, but it is 
much better than nothing. If I found myself absolutely precluded 
from this (which however can hardly be) I should eat the 
cigarette, or chew it at any rate ; there is a great deal to be said 
for chewing. 

Butler's interest in New 2^ealand had not ceased. 
Besides receiving letters from the colony he had visits 
from one or other of his friends when they happened 
to come to the old country. Sir Julius and Lady von 
Haast came more than once, if I remember right, and he 
dined with them. He wrote among others to Colonel 
Alexander Lean, who is mentioned (ante, I. 103) as 
having had a run on the Rakaia and who retired, 
practised as an architect in Christchurch, and took a 
prominent part in music. Butler told him about the 
exorcism at Trapani ; Colonel Lean, in his reply, 22 nd 
March 1893, supposed that it was the will of the patient 
that effected the cure and continued his letter : 

I trust N. Z. will never be hull-down with you. My younger 
son is oiF next week a-mountaineering. I strongly advised him 
to read afresh your incomparable descriptions in Ernuhon, I 
never tire of them myself. They remind me of a time of my 
life when I lived, when we were all agog for " country,** when 1 
found you at the club (at Woodman's) with a tell-tale rim above 
your sun-and-glacier-burnt mask whidi told me of your explora- 
tions before your own narrative. You found a better thing than 
" country ** — ^you found Erewhon. 

In January 1 9 1 3 I came across a book, New Zealand : 
pictured by P. ^ W. Wright; described by the Hon. 
W. Pember Reeves^ High Commissioner for New Zealand 
(London : Adam & Charles Black, 1908), wherein I 
found this passage (pp. 162-3) : 

Butler*s sheep-station, Mesopotamia by name, lay among the 
alps of Canterbury and the satirist himself did some exploring 
work in his pastonil days, work concerning which I recall a story 
told me by an old settler whom I will call the SheriiF. This 
gendeman, meeting Buder one day in Christchurch in the early 


170 COLONEL LEAN xxxi 

XS93 sixties, noticed that his face and neck were burned to the colour 
Act. 58 of red chocolate. 

^ Hullo, my friend,'' said he, ^^you have been among the 
snow ! " 

^ Hush [ " answered Butler in an apprehensive whisper, and 
looking round the smoking-room nervously, *^how do you know 

^By the colour of your face; nothing more," was the 

They talked a while and Butler presently admitted that he 
had been up to the dividing range and seen a great sight away 
beyond it. 

^* I've found a hundred thousand acres of ^ country,' " said he. 
^^ Naturally I wish you to keep this quiet till I have proved it 
and applied to the Government for a pastoral license." 

"Well, I congratulate you," said the Sheriff. "If it will 
carry sheep you've made your fortune, that's all." 

out he intimated his doubts as to whether the blue expanse 
seen from hr off could be grass country. And indeed when next 
they met the latter shook his head ruefully : 

" You were quite right ; it was all bush." 

I have often wondered whether that experience was the bsisis 
of the passage that tells of the thrilling discovery of Erewhon 
beyond the pass guarded by the great images. 

I wrote to Mr. Pember Reeves reminding him of this 
passage, telling him I was writing Butler's Life, and 
asking whether the Sheriff was not Colonel Lean. In his 
reply (25th January 19 13) he wrote : 

You have hit it I It was the late Colonel Alexander Lean, 
Registrar and Sheriff of the Supreme Court in Christchurch. 
Colonel Lean described Butler's appearance. It was not only 
his neck that was burnt chocolate red, but his face right up to 
the line on his forehead marked by his hat. 

The early chapters of Erewhon are a wonderfully vivid descrip- 
tion of the general features and atmosphere of tne Canterbury 
Alps. Of course the height and distances have been exaggerated. 

Colonel Lean wrote Butler a further letter on i6th 
May 1893, from which this is an extract : 

The evening after I wrote you last, there was a discussion at 
my table among some young fellows who proposed getting to the 
top of Mount Arrowsmith (if you know the mountain by such 


a name). The question was jrour route to Erewhon. You 1S93 
would, I fancy, have been interested at seeing the second Act, 58 
generation with your book before them, keen on identifying 
the points of that celebrated journey which has now immortalised 
you, for you will be identified with this country as long as it lives. 

Butler to Colonel Lean. 

Dec, i2«» 1893. 

Dear Colonel Lean — I have let your very kind and enter- 
taining letter of the 4th of September remain too long unanswered ; 
pray forgive me ; the days slip by faster than I can count them. 
What a social cataclysm that crash must have been ; but, as you 
have observed, it must have had its comic side. Let them be 
meek in the day of their victory ; they will not be so, but their 
turn will come, if they are not. I cannot resist copying the 
speech of Ulysses to Amphinomus from the eighteenth book of 
the Odfy/jiry [124-151] which will serve at once to show the lines 
on which I have laid my translation and also how little the 
world has changed. 

Everyone has been bullying Ulysses — ^who, by the way, does 
rather keep on asking for it — and Amphinomus gives him some 
bread and meat. Then Ulysses says : 

^Amphinomus, you seem to be a man of no mean under- 
standing, as indeed you may well be seeing whose son you are. 
I have heard your hxhtx well spoken of; he is Nisus of 
Dulichium, a man both brave and wealthy ; they tell me you 
are his son and you appear to be a considerable person. Listen, 
therefore, and take heed to what I am saying. 

*'Man is the very vainest of all God's creatures that live and 
move upon the earth ; for as long as heaven vouchsafes him 
health and strength he thinks that he shall come to no harm 
hereafter ; and even when the blessed gods bring sorrow upon 
him, he bears it as he needs must and makes the best of it ; for 
God Almighty gives men their daily minds day by day. I know 
all about it \ I was a rich man myself once, and aid much wrong 
in the stubbornness of my pride and in the confidence that my 
father and brothers would support me. Therefore, let a man 
fear God in sill things always and take the good that heaven may 
see fit to send him without vainglory.* 

Is it not fine ? not verv profound, true ; and yet what can be 
more profoundly true ? It is the old story of putting down the 
mighty from their seat, etc. ; but after all it doesn't come to 
much, for the humble and meek do get so confoundedly cocky in 
such a little time that it is much as though the mighty had not 


1S93 been put down at all. For my own part I confess my sympathies 
Aet. 58 are rather with the mighty. I am afraid of liberalism— or at 
any rate of the people who call themselves liberal ; they flirt 
with radicals who flirt with socialists who flirt with anarchists 
who do something a deal more than flirt with dynamite. Well, 
at any rate the new rulers of society in Christchurch had better 
look out. 

I went to Sicily again last summer and had a delightful time 
notwithstanding the intense heat and a good deal of quasi- 
d}rsentery, but it does not seem to have done me any harm. I 
found out one or two mistakes in my theory the correction of 
which has improved it very much. Nothing has ever interested 
me (except, of course, Handel) so much as this Odyssey business 
has done; it is far the finest piece of good fortune that ever 
happened to me, and I find it all the sweeter for the strong 
displeasure which it has aroused in academic circles. This, I 
know, is not righteous, but when the righteous man turneth 
away from the righteousness which he hath committed and doeth 
that which is a little unlawful and wrong he will generally be 
found to have gained in savoir hire what he has lost in holiness. 

These Oxford and Cambridge people have treated me de 
haut en bas so long and so inexorably (no doubt they are quite 
right, but they must not expect me to say so to them) that now I 
f(Ml I have got their heads in Chancery as fiu* as the Odyssey is 
concerned, do you think / am going to remember the advice to 
Amphinomus which I quoted at the beginning of this letter i 
No ', I will have my punch at them before I let them out. 
Probably I shall do nothing of the kind, but it refreshes me to 
think I will. 

If you knew the insolence of these people, and the way in 
which alike in literature and science they keep on throwing dust 
in our eyes under the pretence of helping us to see things more 
clearly, being all the time bent on nothing but swagger and the 
rolling of their own logs, you would imderstand better the 
contempt and dislike I feel for them — I mean for the more noisv 
and for those who are most in evidence. Among my grand- 
father's letters I found one from Dr. Parr in which he sa^ys *^ the 
plain truth is that the Church and both the Universities are 
corrupt to the very root. Your grandchildren will be eye- 
witnesses of the mischief. I have lived and, happily, my head 
will be under the sod when the storm bursts." This was written 
in 1822 and the storm has not burst, nor does it seem likelv to 
burst yet awhile. So much the better ; let us stave it off as long 
as we can, and nothing will stave it off more than the creation 
of a strong outside public opinion over which the dons and friars 
shall feel that they have no influence till they show that they 


deserve it. But rotten to the root they assuredly are now to 1893 
the fitll as much as they were in 1822. Aet. 58 

By the way my Lifi and Memoirs $f Dr. Butler has stood 
lamentably on one side for some months. During my holiday, 
in railway stations, in trains, at every odd moment I revised my 
translation of the second twelve books of the Odyssey ; on my 
return at the end of September I copied these twelve books 
anew and found they had thrown so much new light on the first 
twelve that these wanted no little revision also. I have another 
ten days' work to do on them, and then I can return to Dr. 
Butler whose correspondence I have found fiiscinating — so clear, 
so strong, so laborious, so sensible and, above all, so kind and 
considerate that I really know of no collection of letters that I 
find more charming. And then the people who wrote to him 
did, some of them, write such lovely stuff. Here, for example, is 
a sentence : 

^Sans interest, sans patron, sans everything that makes 
a man no-man, I left my cradle to swagger through the wilder- 
ness of life, gathering crab -apples by the way and munching 
them on the thorn-stuffed stool of repentance.*' Why, it is 

But how could I help it ? When Fortune threw such a prize 
as the bringing back the Odyssey and its writer to their own home 
and people, what man with one spark of literary enthusiasm could 
refrain from at once putting all else on one side ? I have seldom 
felt more profoundly moved than when I brought Tabachetti 
back to Dinant in Belgium, where his very name was unknown, 
and restored that Titan to his home after an absence of 300 years 
[Ex Foto] \ but that was a little thing in comparison with this. 

Does it occur to you that there may be a little presumption in 
all this ? I assure you it does so to me ; but my pen has run 
away with me and I reckon you have taken the length of my 
foot before now. 

Veel ' has not written and will not write, so I shall have a 
correspondent the less and, believe me, my correspondence is 
heavy especially for Italy and Sicily. By the way, in Sicily this 
summer I saw the ruins of Selinunte — columns in every flute 
of which a man can stand I When London goes to rack we 
shall leave nothing like it. 

I don't know whether you like nonsense verses ; I. don't know 
that I do much myself; but something made me write one or 
two the other day : 

^ The Rev. S. Tillbrook to Dr. Bntler, 2itt April 1817, Ufe mtd Lettm of Dr, 
Buder, I. 127. 

* Colborne-Veelf Editor of TA* Preu, N.Z., while Bntler was writins in that 


1S93 There was a young lady named Ford 

Aet. 5S Who kept trying to find the Lost Chord, 

So she banged the notes down 
Till she roused the whole town. 
And when she had found it — O Lord ! 

I suppose you know Sullivan's song ^The Lost Chord." 
Believe me, with all kindest wishes for the new year in which 
this will reach you, Yours very truly, S. Butuuu 

1> -^ 



THE COUNTRY vr TfiK onrs6Er 

Thl following extract is from t::" Z.^/I ar:>J Lf/s^rs of Dr, 
MandeU Creighton by his wife (il. ^ •;}. •^*^*- <^ 

The Bishop had been reading Mr. Samuel Builrr's enrh*iuing 
'X>k Alps and Sanctuaria and determincti t-* visit sr>mc of the 
•«ices there described. We divided our tin^c bctwrrn the Italian 
.tlces and the lower slopes of the Alps ar.d rx^.l'.rrii many 
:»ountain sanctuaries. . . . A^ a result of \.\^\^ w tr rv *' r o.-^op 
'It to know Mr. S. Budcr. He wrote to tell r .^ r..^ : ./-.i r 
.s books had given us and asked him to vi^t u*. \* 
me frequently and the Bishop was much ^'Tr^t tc,. h; i 

-jiuid and stores of out-of-thc-wav knowlcc .c. 

Dr. Creighton was at this time P-^h- p '■'* =' 
borough; he was translai' .1 t(^ I.t.»r ic^n \\\ i"^'-/'. il « 
irst step in getting to knew Butler was t:-:v>-n ;n i^\}'] 
He wrote to Martin, a photograf>h'^'' in's B.iildin^s, 
vjhancery I^ne, for particulars of v\c illustrations to Ex 
■ otOy which, according to an advtrrisement in that book, 
Martin was ready to supply. Martin, however, having 
•t.tired from the business, handed the letter to Butler, 
vho replied to the bishop that he was af)uut to start for 
-.cily, but that, in his absence, Alfred would be pleaded to 
. rint any photographs that might be war^ted. 

The Bishop of Peter hoy ough to Butler. 

Thi Paiacz, I'E'Frvr • 
1 1 'July 1 *s< ; . 

Dear Sm — I have just rccciv«id y^iur h-ttcr, ii •.' J' ■ 
thank you for it. I will dc;il with your clerk a., y ; i : r. .. 
to Jo. 




• c 





The following extract is from the Life and Letters of Dr. 1%^^ 
MandeU Creighton by his wife (II. 83). Act 5S 

The Bishop had been reading Mr. Samuel Butler's enchanting 
book Alps and Sanctuaries and determined to visit some of the 
places there described. We divided our time between the Italian 
lakes and the lower slopes of the Alps and explored many 
mountain sanctuaries. ... As a result of this journey the Bishop 
got to know Mr. S. Butler. He wrote to tell him the pleasure 
his books had given us and asked him to visit us. After this he 
came frequently and the Bishop was much attracted by his original 
mind and stores of out-of-the-way knowledge. 

Dr. Creighton was at this time Bishop of Peter- 
borough ; he was translated to London in 1897. His 
first step in getting to know Butler was taken in 1893. 
He wrote to Martin, a photographer in Bream's Buildings, 
Chancery Lane, for particulars of the illustrations to Ex 
VotOy wMch, according to an advertisement in that book, 
Martin was ready to supply. Martin, however, having 
retired from the business, handed the letter to Butler, 
who replied to the bishop that he was about to start for 
Sicily, but that, in his absence, Alfred would be pleased to 
print any photographs that might be wanted. 

The Bishop of Peterborough to Butler. 

Thi Palack, Pbtirborough, 
II July 1893. 

Dear Sir — I have just received your letter, and hasten to 
thank you for it. I will deal with your clerk as you permit me 
to do. 



1894 But I cannot lose the opportunity which your kind letter 

Aet. 5S offers me of expressing a hope that, after you return home, it 
may be possible for us to meet and have a little talk. I find 
myself on many points relatine to art and literature — and to 
Italy, which may rank as a subject by itself — in agreement with 
you ; and it would be a great pleasure to me to compare notes. 
Anyhow you will pardon the suggestion. — ^Yours very feithfully, 

M. Petriburg : 

No doubt Butler made a suitable reply, but he did not 
keep a copy. I have a recollection that the bishop called 
upon him in ClifFord's Inn, but it may be that the visit 
was later. The next thing I find is in a letter from 
Butler to me of 30th December 1893 : 

What do you think? The Bishop of Peterborough has 
written and asked me to spend fi-om Saturday to Monday (Jan. 
13-15). What a Sunday I shall have, to be sure ! Of course I 
must go. 

The conclusion that " of course " he must go was not 
arrived at without consideration, as will appear from the 
following note reproduced from The Note-Books of Samuel 
Butkr (19 1 2). 

Dr. Mandell Creighton & Mr. W. S. Rockstro 

The first time that Dr. Creighton asked me to come down 
to Peterborough, in 1894, before he became Bishop of London, I 
was a litde doubt fill whether to go or not. As usual, I consulted 
my good clerk, Alfred, who said : 

^ Let me have a look at his letter. Sir." 

I gave him the letter, and he said : 

*^ I see. Sir, there is a crumb of tobacco in it ; I think you 
may go." 

I went and enjoyed mjrself very much. I should like to add 
that there are very few men who have ever impressed me so 
profoundly and so favourably as Dr. Creighton. I have often 
seen him since, both at Peterborough and at Fulham, and like 
and admire him most cordially. 

I paid my first visit to Peterborough at a time when that 
learned musician and incomparable teacher, Mr. W. S. Rockstro, 
was giving me lessons in medieval counterpoint ; so I particularly 
noticed the music at divine service. The hymns were very silly, 
and of the usual Gounod-Barnby character. Their numbers were 


posted up in a frame and I saw there were to be five, so I called 1894 
the first Farringdon Street, the second King's Cross, the third Act 58 
Gower Street, the fourth Portland Road, and the fifth Baker 
Street, those being stations on my way to Rickmansworth, where 
I frequently go for a walk in the country. 

In his private chapel at night the bishop began his verse of 
the psalms always well before we had done the response to the 
preceding verse. It reminded me of what Rockstro had said a 
fJE^Pv weeks earlier to the eiFect that a point of imitation was 
always more eiFective if introduced before the other voices had 
finished. I told Rockstro about it and said that the bishop's 
instinct had guided him correctly-— certainly I found his method 
more satisfactory than if he had waited till we had finished; 
Rockstro smileo, and knowing that I was at the time forbidden 
to work said : 

^ Satan finds some mischief still for idle brains to do." 
Talking of Rockstro, he scolded me once and said he wondered 
how I could have done such a thing as to call Handel ^one of 
the greatest of all musicians," referring to the great chords in 
ErewhoH, I said that if he would look again at the passage he 
would find I had said not that Handel was ^one of the greatest " 
but that he was ^ the greatest of all musicians," on which he 

The foregoing Note was one of those which were pub- 
lished in The New Quarterly before the Note-Books (19 12) 
appeared ; Mrs. Grosvenor did not see those selections 
until I lent her my copy some time afterwards. She 
then wrote to me, 31st December 191 1 : 

The Notes are delightful. Bv the way I can add to one. 
When Mr. Buder came to tell me tie was going to stay with Dr. 
Creighton, he told me that Alfred had decided he might go, on 
finding the litde flake of tobacco in the letter. Then he asked 
me if I would lend him a prayer-book as he thought the bishop's 
man ought to find one in his portmanteau when he unpacked, the 
visit being from a Saturday to Monday. I fetched one and as I 
handed it to him he said : 

** Is it cut ? " 

Mrs. Creighton, in giving me permission to print the 
bishop's letter (ante, pp. 175-6) and also another letter 
from him (post, pp. 315-16) suggested my asking her son, 
the Rev. Cuthbert Creighton, if he had any reminiscences 
of Butler's visits to the Palace at Peterborough, and after- 



1S94 wards to Fulham. I give his reply here because it seems 
Act. 58 ^Q jjjg interesting to read his account of this visit to 
Peterborough immediately after Butler's own account. 

Rekuniscences of Samuel Butler. ^ 


The Rev. Cuthbsrt Criighton 

Mr. Festing Jones has kindly asked me to contribute my 
reminiscences of Samuel Butler, and, in attempting to do so, I 
fully recognise that the only interest they can have for anyone 
but myself is to add one more testimony to a feature of his 
character which must already be clear to all who knew him or 
who have read his writings with discernment. I mean that 
kindly and sympathetic interest which he was always ready to 
take in any of his fellow creatures, the condition of which was 
merely that they should be ready to invite and respond to his 
friendliness, and which he showed as readily, perhaps even more 
readily, to an Italian peasant or (as in my case) to an English 
schoolboy as to those with whom it might naturally have been 
considered that he had more in common. 

I made Butler's acquaintance on the occasion of his visit 
to my father at Peterborough in 1894 when I was 18 years 
old. The circumstances of this visit are described by Butler in 
an amusing note published in the Note- Books. My father, to 
whom Butler was then unknown except as the author of Ex F$to 
and Alps and Sanctuaries^ had asked him to come and stay, as a 
result of the pleasure he had taken in these books and in a recent 
visit to some of the places described in them. I remember my 
father telling us children that an unknown and probably rather 
eccentric visitor was coming to stay who, he had been warned, 
held cranky views on certain points and especially on Darwinism, 
which made it most desirable to prevent the conversation approach- 
ing any of these subjects, and whom there were some grounds 
for suspecting of an antipathy to bishops. It is interesting to 
recall this now as showing the view that was commonly held 
then of Butler as a scientific writer. This announcement of 
course stimulated our imagination, and I pictured to myself a 
formidable-looking man, with a loud voice and a brow-oeating 
manner, who would have to be humoured and prevented from 
becoming controversial. 

A greater contrast to the real Buder it would have been 
difficult to conceive, and this threw into all the stronger relief 
the modest courdiness and gendeness, the simple dignity and 

'w^m^ »»i.^""t, jm 


complete absence of anything that could be considered alarming ZS94 
or formidable, which struck me at once when Butler entered the Aet 5! 
drawing-room before dinner, and which made me feel no diffidence 
or hesitation in approaching or entering into conversation with 

He had brought down with him his photographs of Varallo 
and the Sacro Monte which he showed to us and talked about 
after dinner. The photographs were mounted in albums with 
the titles fully and neatly written underneath. I was struck by 

the repetition of the name Alfred, thus : " View of the ^ with 

Alfred,'' so at length I ventured to ask : 

«* Who is Alfred?" 

Butler at once told us all about Alfred, how he had travelled 
with him on this occasion and mounted his photographs for him, 
and how invaluable he was to him. As an instance of this he 
told, to our great amusement, the story of the crumb of tobacco 
in the letter, as related in the Note-Books, 

My eldest sister sang one or two German and Italian songs, 
which gave Butler occasion to speak about music and, either on 
this or on some subsequent occasion, he gave her a copy of 
Narcissus and other music, and showed a kindly and appreciative 
interest in her singing. When my father took him away to his 
study later on, he said good-night to us all and left the room, 
walking backwards, smiling and bowing to the company in the 
quaint old-fashioned way which I understand was his habit on 
such occasions. 

I think this was the only time Butler stayed with my father 
at Peterborough,^ but a little later on he was a frequent visitor 
at Fulham, when he would come down to tea on a Sunday 
afternoon for a talk with my &ther. I am afraid I can remember 
nothing to record of these conversations at which, however, I 
was always, as far as possible, an interested listener and, somehow, 
there grew up in my mind a feeling of rather special friendliness 
between myself and Butler whose manner was always such as to 
put me completely at my ease and to invite my confidence, I 
used to make a point of accompanpng him through the garden 
to Putney Bridge station when he went away. On one occasion 
when I enquired as usual after Alfred, to whom and to whose 
services to him Butler would frequently refer, Butler replied : 

^ Unfortunately Alfred has been taking a holiday and I have- 
been terribly at a loss without him. The other day a dreadful 
thing happened. I had to go down to Shrewsbury to be present 
at the unveiling of a memorial to my grandfather and I thought 
I ought to have a new suit of clothes in honour of the occasion. 

1 Butler paid certainly one other visit to Peterborough, in January 1895 (post, p. 200}, 


1894 So I got what seemed suitable and went to Shrewsbury. But 
Aet 58 when 1 came back in the evening mj laundress exclaimed in 
horror : 

"'Lor* ! Mr. Butler, youVe never been and gone to Shrewsbury 
in that coat and them trousers ! ' 

^ And then I saw that I had been to Shrewsbury in my new 
coat but an old pair of trousers. Well now, you see, if Alfred 
had been there, that could never have happened." 

I mention these somewhat trivial details in the hope of giving 
some idea of Butler in his relations with young people, and of 
the way in which his kindliness and simple courtesy evoked from 
them a ready response. I had by this time read and heard 
enough of Butler to recognise that he was a man of remarkable 
originality and penetration, intellectually formidable and even 
ruthless, but I was never in the least inclined to be alarmed by 
him ; I felt that he was always ready to be interested in one and 
to meet one on common ground, and that without any suspicion 
of condescension on his part, or of the feeling that he was 
bringing himself down to one's level, which it is rare for anyone 
to be so completely free from as was Butler in his dealings with 
his intellectual or social inferiors. 

To have known Butler, even to such a limited extent as I 
did, has meant much to me. For now when I read his writings, 
besides the brilliant thinker and unsparing critic whom none can 
fail to find in them, I have before me also the picture of one 
who was above all things, and to an unusual degree^ kindly, 
courteous, considerate and sympathetic in his personal relations. 
I cannot feel at all sure that I should have had the discrimination 
to discern in the writer of The Way of All Flesh and the Note^ 
Books the man as I was privileged to know him. But with that 
knowledge I can now see shining, or perhaps I might rather say 
twinkling, through his pages the personality of a man of rare 
loveable character, one who, though this may sound an unexpected 
note on which to end and though the idea would have brought 
an incredulous smile to his lips, always seems to me to have had 
in him something of what I conceive to be saintliness. 

C. Creighton. 

March zziul, 1914. 

In February 1894 the spire of St. Mary's Church, 
Shrewsbury, was blown down. Butler " sent them ^10 — 
being about the earliest subscriber. People said I ought 
to have given more. Perhaps I ought, but it does not 

sxsii •*CAPPERI, NON CAPRE'* i6t 

Soon afterwards, being at Shrewsbury, he went to the XS94 
church and the clerk showed him the ruins of the nave. ^^ ^' 

^ Now, Sir," said the clerk, ^ you go to any of these famous 
dynamite people and ask them to throw you down that spire so 
clean on the middle of the roof as that is done. There isn't one 
of them as could do it. Lord bless you. Sir, it's the hand." 

And so he went on, fully convinced that the Almighty had 
himself personally conducted, as it were, the spire into the middle 
of the nave. 

Mr. PoyntZ) the rector, preached saying or suggesting that 
the spire was thrown down because the Shrewsbury people were 
organising a memorial to Darwin. 

On 20th July Butler went alone to Casale, whence he 
wrote to me that the Italian translation of Ex Voto was at 
last published. He went from Casale to Rome and Naples, 
then by steamer to Messina and down to Aci Reale to 
consult with Mario Puglisi and his friends there about the 
articles he was writing for their magazine. 

One day Mario took him to the Scogli de' Cidopi, 
which Giovanni Platania in the train in 1892 had offered 
to him as the rocks hurled by Polyphemus. The rocks 
are also considered by some writers to include the island 
on which Ulysses and his men hunted the goats {Od. ix. 
152). They were, of course, on the wrong side of Sicily 
for Butler who had already located the goat island on the 
west (JChe Authoress^ p. 43), where he also located the 
rocks that were hurled ; but he thought he ought to con- 
sider the claims of the Scogli de' Ciclopi. He and Mario 
landed on the largest island and looked about for evidence. 
There was vegetation, but no trace of goats, and Butler 
said to Mario : 

" Qui vedo capperi, non capre " (" Here I see capers, 
not goats "). 

So the Scogli de' Ciclopi were dismissed. 

They went to spend a day at a country house belonging 
to Mario on the slopes of Etna. The house had been 
shut up empty for some weeks, and at the moment of 
turning the key in the lock Mario was aware of a move- 
ment — something very slight, but he recognised it for 
what it was and said to Butler : 

1 82 AN EARTHQUAKE xxxn 

1894 " That was an earthquake." 

^^ ^* Etna was in eruption at the time, and as they came 
along they had been discussing earthquakes, so Butler may 
be excused for having thought that Mario was trying to 
make fun of him. He felt himself all over, back and 
front, legs and arms, and replied : 

*^ I don't think so, there is nothing broken." 
The next day there was a more decided shock in the 
same neighbourhood, and Butler, who had returned to 
Catania, saw an accoimt of it in the papers. He wrote to 
Mario inquiring whether anything had been broken the 
second time, and saying he supposed that, in spite of his 
having felt nothing, there really must have been an earth- 
quake at the country house. After he left Catania he 
heard that the shocks became slightly more serious, and 
was disappointed to know that he had missed them. He 
was always interested in natural phenomena, but I should 
have thought he had had enough of earthquakes ; there 
was the shock when he was at school at Shrewsbury ; in 
New Zealand they are so frequent that he must have felt 
several ; and there was the one in Callao harbour when he 
was on his way back. Perhaps these were all slight 
shocks. I think that, if he had lived to see the ruins of 
Messina after the disaster of 1908, he would not have 
wanted any more earthquakes. 

Butkr to Mrs. Bovill. 

Grand Hotil, Aci Realb. 

4 Aug. 1894 — Alfred writes me that you have been so kind as 
to send him a teapot with which he is evidently very much 
pleased ; he tells me he has written to thank you. I know what 
he will have said. It is most strange that such a consummate 
letter -writer as he sometimes shows himself to be should break 
down so completely as he does when he has to make a set com- 
position. When I have been giving him his Whitsun outing I 
have seen the letters sometimes that he has written to the young 
woman whose property he now is, and was always amused to see 
how perfectly correct and conventional (I mean of course how 
stupid) they were. 

The happv event took place on Sunday the 29th. There is a 
kind of excellent red champagne, at once strong, tasty and of a 


good flavour^ that grows on the slopes of Etna, under the shadow 1894 
of which mountain I am now writing. So I made Alfred's Act. 58 
wedding an excuse for having a bottle to drink his and his bride's 
good health, and drank as nearly as much as was good for me — ^1 
mean of course that I got as nearly tipsy as I ever think it worth 
while to get. 

On the day after the wedding Alfred himself wrote to me as 
follows : 

" The wedding went oflF very nicely and everybody said how 
nice we looked. I was under a top hat and felt very strange I 
can assure you. It was a lovely morning. We all met at church 
at 9.15, and when we came out got into a hansom cab to escape 
as much as possible the storm of rice, whilst the others came home 
on foot. Mr. King gave the lady away. It was a perfect success, 
and not the slightest thing occurred to mar the day's enjoyment. 
I am only sorry that you were not able to be present, but your 
health was drunk by us all. Our party numbered 14. This 
morning I am in very good form." 

Which means of course that everything went off quite nicely. 

My object in being here is to put a long Italian article about 
the Odyssey through the press. There are two good kind gentle- 
men here who edit a paper called La Rassegna^ and they correct 
my Italian and keep me straight ; but they seem to have no notion 
of*^ the value of time and I have been kept here a full week and 
shall have another 3 or 4 days over work that should have been 
done in two days easy. However I get on with the Iliad (I have 
done 1000 lines since I left England) and if I was not here I 
should only be somewhere else, but I shall get on to Trapani as 
soon as ever I can. 

Etna is smoking a little, not much, but there was a sharp 
little shock of an earthquake two days ago. 

Murray has got the MS. of Dr. Butler to consider, but I 
have little idea that he will take it. If he does so it will be 
a great thing, but, even though he does not, I feel pretty sure 
that somebody eke will. 

What a long stupid letter when all I had to say that was 
worth saying is that it was very kind of you to give Alfred a 
teapot. I am quite well, but very hot and badly mosquito-bitten. 

The happy couple left London for Boscombe, whence 
Alfred wrote me the letter which follows. The reader 
must settle in his own mind whether to class it as an 
effort made in his capacity of ** consummate letter-writer " 
or as " a set composition." I do not think it " stupid.** 
I like knowing how thoroughly the ardent young lovers 


1S94 enjoyed their solitude i deux, and with what enthusiasm 
^^*^^* they looked forward to settling down together in their 
new London home. 

Alfred to H. F. Jones. 

7 TowBR Road, BoscoicBEy BounNiMOUTHt 

Aug, i$th 1894. 

My dear Sir — I must apologise to you and ask your forgive- 
ness for not answering your nice letter Wore this. I know you 
will forgive me. I am very pleased to hear you had a nice 
passage over, and was not iU. I trust you will get along all 
ri^ht, and will have a very pleasant holiday. I have forgotten 
mx* Watt's address, but will send it to Mr. Larken as soon 
as I return to London. We return home on Sat^- evening 
about 9.30. I had a letter from the Governor this morning* 
He is quite well and going on all right. They seem to badger 
him about with their '^ Article." He seemed to have got awav 
only just in time from Acireale, when the earthquake happened. 
The Governor left about 14 hours before it happened. lam 
(and so are we all) glad he escaped it. 

My wife and myself are enjoying our holiday immensely. 
The weather this last week has been glorious. We are awfidly sun- 
burnt, in fact I am quite brown. We have had some very nice 
walks, and picked up a very nice couple, which makes it very 
pleasant and breaks the monotony of always being by our two 
selveSk We have walked to Christchurch and Southbourne and 
enjoyed it much. There are a great number of people down 
here, especially Bank Holiday week. We leave here on Saturday 
evening at 5 and will have had 15 days at Boscombe, which 
ought to brace us up for the coming winter ^ of our discontent*^ 

I will now conclude with my very best love and the best of 
wishes and remain, — Yours very truly, 

Alfred Emery Cathie. 

P.S. — ^Mrs. Cathie sends her very kind regards to you and 
hopes you will return safe. 

Having broached the subject of Alfred's epistolary 
style, it may help the reader to appreciate Butler*s 
criticism if I give here this letter received from him 
about six years previously. 

xxxu AMBER 185 

Alfred to H. F. Jones. 

15 Clifford's Inn* London, E.G. 1S94 
July 16M 188S. Aet. 58 

Dear Sir — ^I was very pleased to hear from you and of your 
safe arrival. I have been waiting until I had been to the Italian 
Exhibition so as I could have something to tell you. I went 
with Mr. Butler on Saturday and enjoyed myself immense. As 
far as the Exhibition itself goes I do not think much of it \ the 
other little [ ] was what I enjoyed, such as the Music in the 
Gardens, also the Switchback Railway. I enticed Mr. Butler 
to have a ride with me on it, which he did, but he said when he 
came off ^^it was damnable.** I soothed him by saying the 
motion was ridiculous but the sensation was grand. He left me 
about 4 o'clock and at 5 my companion met me and we spent 
the rest of the time together. We went to the Coliseum to 
witness ^^Rome under the Emperors'' and thought it was very 
g;ood. I got home just after 1 1 o'clock after having spent a nice 
long day. I hope you are having better weather than we are, 
it is nothing but rain now. Hoping you are quite well and 
begin to feel the benefit of your little trip, — Believe me to 
remain yours truly, A. Cathib. 

Butler went from Aci Reale to Castrogiovanni, the 
site of the ancient Enna where Proserpine was gathering 
flowers when Pluto carried her off. Here he stayed at 
the Trattoria Grande : *^ the salone is a modern theatre 
with boxes all round it and a stage at the end. In what 
should be the pit one dines." He hoped to find remains 
of Sican or of Pelasgic walls, but failed. In the museum, 
however, he saw some amber, taken from the neighbour- 
ing river-bed, which interested him particularly, because 
amber is never mentioned in the lliad^ whereas in the 
Odyssey^ a Sicilian poem, it occurs three times. 


In one piece .of amber in the museum there was a whole 
willow-leaf, and in another a litde snail-sheU. . . . The odds 
against the preservation of that willow-leaf were heaven knows 
how many million to one, still it was preserved. On the other 
hand, the odds against no willow-leaf having been preserved, if 
there was any amber exuding in the neighbourhood, were also 
heaven knows how many million to one. So that squares it, and 
prevents our being compelled to accept the Christian miracles. 

i86 THE ISLANDS xxxu 

1S94 From Castrogiovamni he passed through Palermo to 

Act. 5« Xrapani and, having heard ^at there were remains of 
walls in the island of Marettimo, determined to see 
them. This account of the excursion is condensed from 
his letters to me and his notes. The illustration at the 
opening of this chapter, ^* Trapani and the Islands," is 
not a success as a work of art ; for instance, I have not 
sufficiently detached the foreground, which is Mount 
Eryx, from the middle distance, which is Trapani. It 
is, however, intended less as a work of art than as a 
bird's-eye view of the course taken by Butler in his 
excursion to Marettimo. The town is seen jutting out 
into the sea. On the left are the salt-pans, the dots 
representing heaps of gathered salt covered with tiles to 
protect them from any possible thunderstorm. The 
harbour from which he started is shown between the salt- 
pans and the town. Favognana is the island to the left ; 
Marettimo is the island that cuts the horizon lying *^ all 
highest up in the sea to the west " ; Levanzo is the 
island which hides Marettimo when you look out to sea 
from the level of Trapani. 


About 10 P.M. on Tuesday 14th August I went on board the 
bi-weekly sailing post, a small cutter, a mere fisherman's boat, 
a tub that would make 6 or 7 knots an hour, perhaps 10 feet 
broad and 20 fit. long, with a slightly arched upper deck and 
beneath this a hold, about 4 feet high, filled with the properties 
of the captain, his son and another lad. The second of these 
boys had what I have not infrequently noticed among the young 
sailors of this neighbourhood, a singularly beautiful set of teeth, 
all white as ivory, strongly set and packed like peas in a pod. 

I looked into the hold where, among the hundred odd things 
that such a boat was sure to contain, was a mattress spread for 
me. I smelt the hold and shuddered. Many previous passengers 
to and from Marettimo must have suffered from the effects of 
the lumpy sea which the vento maestro raises. Cheese and 
onions and rum, dirty clothes and barrels of pickled sardines, 
cockroaches and blackbeedes — the ghosts of all these things and 
the living presence of many more gave me pause and I preferred 
the lovely moonlight and the fresh breeze of the deck. 

xxxii FAVOGNANA 187 

The voyage ought to take 3 or 4 hours ; as we glided out of 1894 
the harbour, it was like being in Venice and the other boats -^^ 58 
showed black in the sheen of the moon as we passed them. 
Presently, however, the islands of Levanzo and Favognana 
remaining still ahead of us, it appeared that no progress was being 
made. The breeze went down and we tacked about with the 
lights of Trapani still near, and at last there was not a breath. 
The sails flapped while the boat rose and fell with the swell, the 
yard creaked and we lay becalmed for hours during which the 
moon set in the sea. I was dewy and salty but not un- 
comfortable — only bored. About 3 a.m. up sprang a breeze, 
fairly strong ana dead against us. Tack, tack, tack (derive 
^tack"), and then the sea rose rapidly and I was getting 
splashed. There was nothing for it but to go down into the 
hold ; this therefore I did, not without difficulty. 

I went below from 3.30 to 6.30 and then put my head out 
of the opening through which I had crept, feeling sure that we 
must be Hearing Marettimo. Alas ! we had not yet reached 
Favognana, and the sea was now not dangerous but roughish and 
white-horsey. Presently the captain said he should not venture 
further than Favognana and that unless he made it pretty soon he 
should put back to Trapani. I said : 

^ Do what you think best. I shall leave it to you. If you 
think there is risk in going further, don't go." 

The end of it was that after 1 1 hours we did actually make 
Favognana and here we stayed till evening when they hoped the 
wind would shift round, but I didn't see why it should. 

So I landed about 9.30 a.m. and went to the inn (very decent) 
had a substitute for a bath and am now writing this with the 
very utmost difficulty in keeping awake, as you may imagine. At 
noon I shall dine and then I will take two solia hours of sleep 
after which, I doubt not, I shall be able to do my quantum of 
Homer [translation of the //rW] which I brought with me in 
case something should confine me. 

We started again from Favognana at 4.30 the next morning 
and crept along, sometimes helping ourselves with a little rowing. 
The swell, after the heavy weather, made any locomotion on the 
boat difficult. Once we came upon some wicker fish-traps set 
by a boat which we could see ahead of us, and in no time the 
captain and the two boys turned a dozen nice live red mullets 
flapping on to the deck. Before they were quite dead the captain 
began to scale them and cut them through and then set about 
cooking them. The boys playing with one another amused me 
much i they laughed when 1 told them that they were like 
kittens while I was like an old cow. The monotony was further 
relieved by our finding some nets and some more fish-traps which 

1 88 VINCENZO xxxu 

1S94 the captain knew to have been lost ; with some trouble we got 
Act 58 them on board and in one of them there was the finest lobster I 
ever saw^ quite two feet long from the tail to the end of the 
claws — such a brute ! and in another there was a crav-fish. 
Then the sun set, and nothing can be conceived more lovely ; 
but the heat and monotony were distressing and brought on a 
head-ache behind my right eye which has been with me ever 
since. At last, about 9 p.m. there sprang ud a light breeze 
which presently freshened and ran us down to Maretdmo in no 
time. Soon after dark on Thursday evening 16 August we 
landed, having taken in all 48 hours to go a distance of little 
more than 20 miles. 

I presented my letter to the brigadier who at once beat up 
the landlord and did his best for me. Ulysses himself was not a 
greater object of curiosity to the Phaeacians than I found myself 
to these people. Almost immediately the brigadier introduced 
me to a young man, Vincenzo, who knew my Odyssean theories 
and seemed much interested, so into his hands I was conmiitted 
and at 8 this morning he came to fetch me. 

Vincenzo took me all over the place and showed me all I 
wanted to see. There are some remains of a very ancient 
civilization on the island, not many, but enough to leave no 
doubt that there had been such people ; I should say, however, 
that they belonged to an age long prior to the Odyssey, to one 
which, moreover, had become extinct when the Odyssey was 
written. The whole island, except where naturally protected by 
precipices, was surrounded by a wall which, though mainly 
destroyed to make other walls, can be traced wherever the island 
is accessible and was clearly a defensive wall. I am confident 
the island had no important civilization in the days of the 
Odyssey, but the fiu:t of this wall is sure to have been known and 
I cannot doubt would impress the authoress of the poem. As 
she transferred Thersites's hump to Eurybates, so I strongly 
suspect that her wall running all round the island of Aeolus is 
in reality suggested by this wall. 

17 Jug. 1894 — To-day I was to dine with the brigadier, a 
good little man, a smart little person of about 24, very good- 
natured and most anxious to be hospitable. He has two men 
under him, good creatures both of them, and at about 12 o'clock 
he came to fetch me. The barracks were as small and meagre 
as can be well conceived ; downstairs there was a small mess- 
room, kitchen and ripostiglio or cellar-larder. Upstairs was the 
brigadier's office-bedroom and the rooms of the two men. After 
a certain amount of waiting upstairs, one of the men announced 
that dinner was ready and we went down, all four of us dining at 
the same table. The three have to do everything for themselves, 

xxxn LAND-FISH 189 

no servant being permitted. It transpired that they had cooked 1S94 
the dinner between the three of them. The cloth was very dirty A^ 5* 
and, as they have no meat, no milk and very few eggs, it may De 
imagined that, though they were doing their very best, the good 
fellows could not do much. 

First we had chicken broth, very fair and not untasty. Then 
came the chicken which had made the broth — such a poor little 
drunken drab of a thing as it must have been. Then four huge 
plates of maccaroni covered with tomatoes, mine being four times 
as much as I could by any conceivable means manage to eat ; I 
removed half at once and ate half the remainder. Then came 
another chicken, own brother to the one that had made the 
soup. Lastly came what I was told was the inside and entrails of 
the two chickens together, /./. their gizzards, livers and as much 
as could be, by hook or crook, utilised of the remaining insides. 
And the wine was black and strong with a taste of treacle and rum. 

They had been fortunate enough, said the second soldier, to 
find some specimens of a kind of land-fish ; it is really a fish, but 
still they find it on land ; he did not suppose we had it in England, 
but it had a delicious flavour ; it seems to fill the whole stomach 
with a divine and exquisite aroma that remains for several days ; 
indeed, for a fortnight afterwards, when any little wind rises fix>m 
the stomach, you can still taste it. The description reminded me 
all the time of the soothing herb which Helen put into the mixing 
bowl in the fourth book of the Odyssey. But what to do ? And 
what, again, was this wonderful land-nsh ? 

** You find it on walls and stones." 

^ Oh,** said ly '' I have not seen any lizards on the island,** for 
I made sure that lizards were intended. 

^ No," was the answer, ^lizards are not good to eat, but these 
are exquisite, we call them luiliachi, and now I remember we 
have the shells in the kitchen." 

^And here," interrupted the second soldier, triumphantly, 
^they actually are," as he laid a dozen snail-shells on the table. 

I could have better eaten a worser meat. Had it been lizards I 
could have eaten them and thanked heaven it was no worse. Had 
it been stewed mice — yet could I bear that too, well, very well. 
But snails ! I would as soon eat cockroaches and blackbeetles. 
I thought of my uncle John and how his brothers, when he was a 
boy, offered him sixpence if he would eat a cockroach. He mused 
for a while : 

" The stomach," he murmured, " will be the worst part." 

Then we had two pears and two figs each and the meal was 

They had a little, wild, live rabbit in the ripostiglio and they 
showed me how the dog would catch it without hurting it. 


1S94 I was then taken to the brigadier's room and the poor little man 
Aet. 58 gave me details as to the miseries of his life in Maretdmo which 
I can well believe. For my own part I could not live there a 
twelvemonth. After this I was to photograph them, first in fixll 
dress, then in undress and then there was to be a friendly group 
which was to include the phlebotomist and the shoemaker — ^for aU 
which see my photos, if, as I hope, they turn out all right. The 
phlebotomist is also barber and hair-dresser, but I do not think the 
people employ him very much. 

We got back to Trapani at 4 a.m. on Sunday 19 August, 
after an uncomfortable dawdling return voyage of 13 hours. 
At any rate it seemed to me quite worth while to go, and I am 
glad I went, but I have had a rough time varied, however, with 
episodes which will come in another Alps and Sanctuaries^ if ever 
I get to one, and which I need hardly say I carefully note. 

Butler to Jones. 

19 August 1894 — ^What with posting up the notes — which is 
the first thing — ^the translation of the Iliad (I have done Bks vii. 
viii. ix,], letters, photography, and visitors without ceasing, I have 
my work cut out. • . . 

Both Dudgeon and Pauli write as though they considered I 
had scored in Lord Salisbury's address to the British Association, 
but I really do not see that I do. Certainly Darwin gets blown 
upon for his natural selection but that is now little more than 
common form. 

Dr. Dudgeon to Butler. 

53 MoNTAOU Square, W. 
9M August^ 1S94. 

Dear Mr. Butler — Lord Salisbury's presidential address at 
the Bfritish] A[ssociation] meeting must be '^nuts" to you. 
Lord Salisbury, who may be considered a representative intelligent 
" man in the street," sees that ** luck" won't do and that " cunning " 
must come in to explain evolution ; ;md this is just what you 
taught and what Darwin gnashed his teeth at you for doing. I 
don t know if you are still m town, but I could not help congratu- 
lating you on this public adoption of your views. Of course 
Salisbury has not any idea of what the '^ cunning " really is — ^he 
seems to hint that it is theological — but it is enough for the 
present that natural selection ^ luck " is relegated to a back seat — 
the older Darwin's ^ cunning " will come to the fore presently. 

Lord Salisbury doesn't seem to have found out the ^dlacies of 
Lister or Pasteur yet, but the man in the street, however intelli- 
gent, does not know everything. — Yours very truly, 

R. £. Dudgeon. 



Butler to Dr. Dudgeon. 

Trapani, Sicily. 1S94 

August 20tAf li^i^, Aet.58 

Dear Dr. Dudgeon — Your very kind note reached me here 
yesterday on my return to this place from the island of Marettimo, 
where there are some prehistoric remains which I wished to see. 

I read, or rather skimmed, Ld. Salisbury's speech and thought, 
as you do, that he was quite awake to the fact that the Charles- 
Darwinian natural selection is rubbish, but then the amount of 
soft soap, etc. and the absence of anything like plain straight- 
forward outspokenness did, I confess, disgust me. The man 
knows that Charles Darwin has messed and muddled the question 
for many years ; that he mystified the public under the guise of 
making things easier for it ; that he very well knew he was 
keeping things back from us which he knew himself, and which 
he knew that it concerned us to know, but which he was not 
going to tell us ; that he was unscrupulous in the means he used 
if he wanted to get rid of a troublesome opponent ; that he 
behaved towards his predecessors with a meanness which would be 
incredible if alleged concerning anyone except himself; all this is 
known to Lord Salisbury and to the greater part of those who 
listened to him. I confess, therefore, it is not without impatience 
that I view the farce that is kept up between speaker and audience. 
It not only serves no useful end, but it encourages and widens that 
severance between science and sinceritr which, as you and I know 
so well, is already apparently impassable. If I see a man hanging 
about the British Association at all, or indeed any of the learned 
societies, I look upon him ipso &cto with suspicion, and such 
speeches as Lord Salisbury's confirm one in the opinion that I do 
well to do so. What — well, I have said enough. 

I was very nearly caught in the Acireale earthquake; the 
first shock happened half an hour after I had left, the second and 
most serious one about fourteen hours afterwards. My friends 
tell me the distress and damage done are very great. I shall 
return about the 20th of September and wiU call shortly 
afterwards. I am quite well, but the heat is fearful — ^I can only 
sleep by lying outside my bed close to a wide-open window and 
letting the mosquitoes do exactly what they choose ; by this 
means I get along all right. With kind regards, — Believe me. 

Yours very truly, 8. Butler. 


p^S. — What is wanted is not to reconcile science and religion 
— let them fight it out — but to reconcile science and common 
modesty, accuracy, and straightforwardness which, so far as I can 
see at present, have a very righteous quarrel with her for innumer- 
able insults she has heaped upon them. 


T92 *• LEAGUES OF SICILY " xxxii 

1S94 On 22nd August Butler went up Mount Eryx to stay 

^^ ^* for a week with Conte Agostino Sieri Pepoli at his 
summer residence, Le Torri. Here were the ravens which 
had been attracted from the Ruccazzu dei Cotvu Some 
of them were half-tame and would eat out of one's hand ; 
they had had silver bells hung round their necks and 
would flit tinkling in and out of the Castle windows and 
perch upon the crazy wooden balconies. Butler brought 
back a snap-shot showing old Monsignore Di Marzo, one 
of his fellow-guests, asleep in a perilous chair upon one of 
the balconies "over the edge of a precipice of many 
hundred feet, backed by leagues upon leagues of Sicily. 
But he could not get the ravens into the photograph. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


26 August 1894 — On Monday they have the Pcrsonaggi, Le. 
people dressed up as the great personages of Holy Writ ; they 
make a Cavalcata Simbolica beginning at 10.30 p.m. and con- 
tinuing all night — no doubt a continuation of some old rites of 
the Temple of Venus which, as you know, was here and very 
maenificent in former times. . . . 

I like the count, but he is a queer mixture of shrewdness and 
heaven knows what else. He has an imperfect lady here this 
year, lent to him by the marchese, but it is understood she is 
more for show than use. She is a very nice person and I should 
like her very much if she did not exhibit so decided a desire that 
I should take her back with me to London — an idea which makes 
my backbone curdle. Still she is exactly the person we want. 
Shall I bring her after all ? 

29 August 1894 — ^I came down on foot from the Mountain 
under guidance of a conudino provided by the count. ... I was 
to be taken the short cuts and I was so taken. We were benighted 
half way and I seldom have had a more difficult and even perilous 
walk but, thanks to extreme care, no mishap occurred. Yes, 
Ulysses certainly did want a stick for that walk. 

Jt was a wonderful experience at the count's. The great 
event which I was staying to see was ^ I Personaggi ^ who made 
their progress on the night of Monday-Tuesday. They begin 
about 1 1 P.M. and progress slowly through all the narrow streets 
till 5.30 A.M. by which time the poor personages are nearly dead 
and often they faint away. 


I. Night) a man dressed as a woman, with a veil of black 1894 
net before his face, reclining in front of a background Aet. 58 
of clouds. 
II. Ashtaroth (1.^. Venus) con seguito di Sacerdotesse. 
This was verv good. Venus was exceedingly pretty ; 
she stood inside a huge open bivalve with a dear little 
cupid and two sweet little girls going before her. 

III. BaaL 

IV. Idolatry. 

V. L'Apoteosi, or Divine Honours paid to Man. This 
was personified by Julius Caesar, one of the finest- 
looking, best-built young fellows imaginable. 
VI. Aurora. 
VII. The Sun. 
VIII. Faith. 
IX. Christian Civilization. 
X. £ryx. 
XL Charity. 
XIL Youth. 

And finally a triumphal car, in the form of a boat, on which 
were a band of music and six little girl-singers, surmounted by a 
copy of the Madonna di Custonaci. . . . 

Each of these figures was superblv dressed, with jewels in 
some cases weighing ten pounds of gola and precious stones for a 
single dress. Everv gold ornament in the town and neighbouring 
villages in possession of any family is lent and never a ring is 
robbed. The arrangement of the jewels is made with consum- 
mate skilL I was taken round to see the personages in their own 
houses before they started and they had picked the most repre- 
sentative they could find. The visits thus paid were as interest- 
ing as the procession itself. The whole thing was pagan with the 
slightest varnish of Christianity ; all other such things I have 
seen were Christian with a touch of paganism. The crowds, the 
perfect spontaneity, indigenousness, and heartiness (not a priest in 
the whole procession) made it a thing which I should be very 
sorry to have missed. . . • 

I gave Donna Maria, the cook at the count's, an old lady of 
my own age, 5 francs, when I went away, tipping the other 
servants, of course, also ; the cook was the only one [of the 
servants] who kissed me. The count kissed me too. 

He went from Trapani to Castelvetrano and recon- 
sidered the ruins of Selinunte. With several friends he 
went to Poggio Reale to see some remains of walls near 
by, on Monte Elimo, but could not make out much 

VOL. II o 

194 "NON NEVICA" xxxn 

1894 except that they probably were on the site of some Sican- 
Act. 58 Xrojan-Phocaean city. 

He then went to Calatafimi, and one day Ingroja and 
his friends took him for an excursion of a few miles on 
horseback to Monte Inice, where there b a castle in which 
Charles V* stayed and where he hunted ; some one had 
written a book saying that there were prehistoric remains 
there, and Butler hoped to find something to help him. 
Either there were no remains or they were of no conse- 
quence ; anyhow the excursion was very enjoyable. It 
was early in September— one of those days thit in Sicily 
succeed each other all through the summer and early 
autumn, when there is no cloud in the sky and the land 
lies breathless under the heat* They had brought their 
lunch with them and were eating it in the shade. 
Presently Butler looked up critically in the direction 
of the sun and, with the little reiterated shake of the 
head which all his friends remember, said, very solemnly : 

" Non nevica " (The snow keeps off). 

He could not have spoken more seriously if he had 
been announcing some important discovery concerning 
the Temple of Segesta itself, and for a moment they 
were puzzled ; then they all laughed, and continued 
laughing about it for the rest of the day. He was as much 
surprised and pleased as any of them, for it was an old 
joke he had picked up years before in New Zealand and 
had used off and on ever since. With us it had grown 
so threadbare that we scarcely looked upon it as a joke 
any longer ; it had never, even in its best days, met with 
so great a success as on this occasion ; the fame of it 
spread through all the country round, and he became 
known, and is still spoken of, as the Englishman who 
had proved that the Odyssey was written by a woman 
^t Trapani, and who had said, " Non nevica." 

While Butler was in Sicily I was abroad, and at Basel 
made the acquaintance of the Faesch family. Hans was 
still in London, but he wrote to his people to expect me, 
and I stayed with them a few days in his grandfather*s 
house outside the town. I met Butler on his return, and 
we were together at Casale whence we went with the 

■'f-^ '" ••"tux'^^^^mm^fmm 



Avvocato Negri for an excursion to Crca to see 1*94 
Tabachetti's work there. We also went to Rosignano, ^^ ^* 
which is on the hills near Casale, and stayed with the 
painter Morbelli at his country house, and Butler made 
many photographs of the children in all sorts of engaging 
attitudes. We returned to London on 20th September. 

Butler to Mrs, Bovill. 

Oct, 4, 1894 — ^We have examined the outside of your house 

and saw such evidence of painters that we make sure you are 

still at Chorley Wood, I hope enjoying yourself. I have been 

back the best part of a fortnight and go down next week to 

Shrewsbury to my sisters, after which I intend being a fixture 

for some time. I translated 6 more bks of the //rW, but have 

not yet revised and copied them out. The Odyssey still on its 

rounds from publisher to publisher hitherto without result. Dr. 

Butler in like manner has started on his way — hitherto with no 

better success. I cannot think however but that sooner or later 

Mr. Watt will place both books for me, and in the meantime go 

on with the Iliad: Alfred seems quite contented and comfortable. 

I think he is all right. Jones brought a bad cold with him and 

has been a good deal out of sorts but is picking up and will be 

all right in a day or two. I have actually drawn a post-card out 

of old Gladstone re my second Italian pamphlet, published at the 

end of August. I sent it to Gladstone and have been rewarded 

with a post-card — in my opinion a very silly one. The Bishop 

of Peterborough has written very warmly about my theory and 

says that he feels sure it will work its way in time. So am I 

but I want it to work its way immediately. I am to go down 

there (I mean to Peterborough) in Decern oer. 

P.S, — I address to St. Andrew's Place in case you should 
have come back since Sunday. 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

Oct. 25, 1894 — ^Jones tells me you would like Alfred to come 
to you either Tuesday or Wednesday. He will be delighted to 
do so, and is only afraid that he will not be able to do what you 
want " because " he " shall feel so nervous." I tell him he will 
not feel nervous, and he will do what you want perfectly well. 
I am rather cross to-day because I went to see Arthur Roberts 
last night, and did not like it. I am haunted by a growing idea 
that I am getting old and dull (not that I was ever much else) 

196 ALFRED^S BABY xxxn 

1S94 but surely either the fault is in me or else Arthur Roberts is a 
Act. 59 gooj j^ overrated. 

Jones tells me I am to have the pleasure of meeting you next 
Wednesday. Tant mieux. 

P.S. — ^I have been to see my doctor who tells me that there 
is nothing the matter with me except rather serious brain-fag. I 
am to do as nearly nothing as I can for some few weeks, and 
mean to take things very easy. 

Alfred was to help Mrs. Bovill to catalogue her 
books. The next letter was sent to Spain where she had 
gone for the winter. 

Bufler to Mrs. Bovill. 

Die. 6) 1894 — Yours of Nov. 27 reached me a few days 
ago and was immediately retailed to Jones who will write and 
thank you on his own account. I gave Alfred your message 
which pleased him very much. By the way, entre nous, 
it seems that Alfred's l^by is expected a little sooner than I 
was quite prepared for. They were married at the end of 
July, and it seems the baby is expected at Xmas; there are 
such things as five months children are there not ? I have 
not been officially informed of this, but Mrs. Cathie, Alfred's 
aunt, told me and was inclined to be a little censorious, so I 
flew at her. I said any doctor could tell her that 5 months' 
children were the commonest things in the world. I have a 
very heavy cold, but am getting through with it ; my head is 
better — ^all I wanted was not to work quite so hard. Alfred is 
at this moment copying out Book xi of the Iliad^ and we shall 
have all the first 12 books copied out (typewritten for the second 
six books) by Xmas. By midsummer I hope to have the lot 
done. No publisher founa yet for either Odyssey or Dr. Butler ; 
Dr. B. is being offered now to the Cambridge Press. As for 
the Odyssey nearly 30 publishers have refused it, and we have 
settled to wait till the Iliad is done and then start afresh with 
Iliad and Odyssey together. In the meantime I hear my '^ Sicilian 
Origin of the Odyssey " seems to be gaining ground in Italy and 
Sicily, and will, I doubt not, do so here sooner or later : I shall 
then perhaps have a better chance with my Iliad and Odyssey. 
We have had a splendid November but it is now getting rather 
raw and foggy and very often dark. You are well out of it, 
but I am afraid you will be more or less bored after a couple of 
months. I do hope Mr. Bovill's and the boys' visit will not 

xxxii ULTSSES AGAIN 197 

fall through. I shall go to Boulogne at Xmas with Gogin and 1894 
I believe Jones will come too. There is a something about Act. 59 
Boulogne at Xmas which attracts me and I have been there 
regularly for a good many years. We are also finishing the 
oratorio Ulysses which Jones and I began some few years ago 
and from which the Odyssey for a time deflected me. I therefore 
go to Mr. Rockstro once a fortnight. I am writing the final 
chorus of which about half is done. I shall then only have two 
more choruses and one or two recitatives to complete my share 
of the work. Jones has some lovely things in it and, though it 
will probably fidl as flat as Narcissus, than which nothing could 
well fidl flatter, I shall be glad to have done it. 

By the way, please, mind when you next write, do not allude 
to the little matter mentioned on p. i, for Alfred is sure to 
get hold of your letter somehow or other and he will read every 
word of it. So I am sure you will be careful. By the way, 
also— he has petitioned for a few Spanish used stamps if they are 
to be had, but he remembered that Carlos is a stamp-collector 
alsO) and said he did not think he ought to ask. I said I thought 
he might. 

I hope your cough will continue to get better, but it is plain 
you went none too soon. How do you like this from Iliad 
Bk xii ? 

''As the flakes that fall thick upon a winter's day, when 
Jove is minded to snow and to display these his arrows to man- 
kind — he lulls the wind to rest and snows steadily till he has 
covered the tops of the high mountains, the headlands that jut 
out into the sea, the grassy plains and the tilled fields of men ; 
the snow falls on the forelands and havens of the grey sea, but 
the wandering wave resists it though all things else are wrapped 
as with a mantle, so heavy are the heavens with snow . . ." 

This is a very stupid letter but it must go for want of a 
better. Alfred unites with me in all good wishes for your health 
and wealth of every kind. Jones is not here or he would do so, 
and he will I know write for himself. 

Butkr to Mrs. Bovill. 


24 Dec, 1894. 

D£AR Mrs. Bovill — Jones was going to write to you this 
morning, but I do so instead and he will write later. We 
thought your letter to him rather more cheerful than the one 
to me, of which Alfred said : 

''Well, Sir, I think she's very low and the sooner she gets 
away from that place the better." 


1894 I noted your discretion. I am being gradually prepared for 

Aet 59 the somewhat premature appearance of the infant. 

''You know, Sir, we begin to think it's going to be a seven 
months' child." 

"^ Begin to think " indeed ! when he has confessed to Jones 
and Faesch, and his aunt has told me, that the child is to be bom 
early in January and the wedding took place early in August. 
"Five months aon't make seven, Alfred** was on the tip of my 
tongue but, officially, I know nothing ; so, not to betray my 
informants, I said he would probablv find that the child did not 
come till May. Jones's sister, Lil, sent through Jones some 
orange blossoms for the wedding from Nice, but it was officially 
announced to us, we being away and at the mercy of every lie 
which a guilty conscience might suggest to Alfred, that the 
blossoms were too much damaged to be worn. It was a little 
odd, but we are good unsuspecting souls and took it as we were 
told. Now we understand why the orange blossoms were not 
possible — ^it was not they that had lost their purity. However, 
I don't think it very much matters provided mother and infimt 
do well. 

We suppose that you are now at Gibraltar, and Carlos and 
Miss Harrison will, 1 hope, arrive in a day or two, if they 
are not alreadv with you, to cheer you up. Of course it will 
make all the difference. Jones and I are pretty fit, but I cannot 
quite get rid of my head which comes back with very little 
provocation. The Cambridge Press would not take Dr. ISutler. 
I knew they wouldn't but the Bishop of Peterborough and others 
urged me to try them. Here is their Secretary's answer to 
Mr. Watt : 

" Dear Sir — I am directed by the Syndics of the Press to 
inform you that they have considered the proposal contained in 
your letter of December i that they should undertake the publica- 
tion of the Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler^ by Mr. S. 
Butler, and that they have decided not to undertake the work in 
question. — I am, yours faithfully, Richard T. Wright." 

They only saw the synopsis which I had printed and would 
not even look at the work itself. I was in doubt whether to 
look upon this as merely formal or as '^ extra special cold, or even 
icy," but my friends at the Museum and elsewhere tell me they 
look upon it as the second. I am sorry they will not take the 
book for Dr. Butler's sake as I should have been glad that his 
life should have had the stamp of the Press of his own university ; 
for my own sake it matters little to me whether I print the work 
or they do ; it will be printed and I am very well able to do it if 
I cannot find a publisher. I confess also that it is a pleasure 

xxxii JEALOUSY 199 

to me to be under no sort of obligation to Cambridge; if 1894 
Cambridge delights to honour the name of Darwin, it is not Aet.59 
likely to honour mine. I consider myself as mieux pos^ by 
having offered myself in 1886 (I think) for their Art Professor- 
ship, and now as having off^ered them Dr. Butler, and in each 
case having been refused, than I should have been if I had 
not off^ered, or if I had been accepted. What my acquaint- 
ance with Mrs. X is to you your friendship with Z (who 
is nothing but a male Mrs. X) is to me ; and you like Z, 
whereas as you very well know, I fly before that woman as a 
wolf before a fat old ewe whose blood is so poisonous that 
the wolf dares not bite her and can only trot along before her 
and blaspheme the hour which threw him into the same field 
with her. However, chacun i son goAt. If ever I hear of your 
hobnobbing with Z aeain I will ask Mrs. X to tea every 
day for a month and tell you about it — but I should be dead by 
the fifth day. 

Dr. B. is now gone to Oxford, but we shall hear nothing 
till term begins. They will refuse it, but they will do so civilly 
and with the common forms of courtesy. 

I am half way through Book xiii of the //iW, but am told 
to work as little as possible so do not get on as fast as I should 
like to do. 

Love to Carlos and kind regards to Miss Harrison. — Yours 
very truly, 




1895 — ^Part I. 

Butler to Mrs. Bridges. 

1895 24 Jan. 1895 — Nothing happened at the bishop's [at Pctcr- 

Aet. 59 borough]. There was no one to meet me, so I was a good deal 
t£te ^ t£te with the bishop ; but whether this was design or 
accident on his part is a matter which he knows better than I do. 
They were all of them extremely nice and kind, and the bishop 
let me nm on about the Iliad and the Odyssey as long as I pleased. 
Of course I kept a look out for signs of incipient boredom, but 
whether they existed or no before I saw them — this again is better 
known to the bishop than to myself. 

Hans Faesch had not done so well in London as he 
had hoped to do — ^that is commercially ; he was happy in 
his private life and enjoyed being with us, apparently, as 
much as we enjoyed his company ; but that was not busi- 
ness and he had his living to earn. We knew he was 
looking out for something else and that he might leave 
London at any time ; nevertheless it was a shock when he 
told us one day, in January, that he had accepted a post 
in a business house at Singapore. On the 14th February 
we saw him ofF at the Holborn Viaduct Station for Basel, 
where he was to make preparations and say good-bye to 
his family. He was not well ; the weather was cold, raw, 
and boisterous ; we were afraid that the journey would be 
too much for him and that the climate of the East would 
not suit him. On the evening of the next day Butler 
showed me the following Calamus poem which he had 


,^ W^ ■ ^'■^l^*^^H"^K«r^""M«^PV^P«Wr^BBaB«r*^V^P*^«PWE-<flVVT^ 



written in the interval. He called it an In Memoriam 1895 
because he had persuaded himself that we should never ^^^ 59 
see Hans again. 

14 />i. 1895. 

Out, out, out into the night. 

With the wind bitter north-east and the sea rough ; 
You have a racldng cough and your lungs are weak. 
But outy out into the night you go. 

So guide you and guard you. Heaven, and fare you well ! 

We have been three lights to one another, and now we are two^ 

For you go far and alone into the darkness ; 

But the light in you was clearer and stronger than ours, 

For you came straighter from God, and, whereas we had learned. 

You had never forgotten. Three minutes more and then — 

Out, out into the night you go : 

So guide you and guard you. Heaven, and fare you well I 

Never a cross look, never a thought. 

Never a word that had better been left unspoken ; 

We gave you the best we had, such as it was. 

It pleased you well, for you smiled and nodded your head ; 

And now, out, out into the night you go. 

So guide you and guard you, Heaven, and fare you well ! 

You said we were a little weak that the three of us wept ; 

Are we, then, weak if we laugh when we are glad ? 

When men are under the knife let them roar as they will, 

So that they flinch not. 

Therefore let tears flow on, for so long as we live 

No such second sorrow shall ever draw nigh us. 

Till one of us two leaves the other alone 

And goes out, out, out into the night. 

So guard the one that is left, O God, and fare him well I 

Yet for the great bitterness of this grief 

We three, you and he and I, 

May pass into the hearts of like true comrades hereafter. 

In whom we may weep anew and yet comfort them. 

As they too pass out, out into the night, 

So guide them and guard them. Heaven, and fare them well ! 

402 GRIEF xxxiii 

1895 The minutes have flown and he whom we loved is gone. 
Act. 59 The like of whom we never again shall see. 

The wind is heavy with snow and the sea rough. 
He has a racking cough and his lungs are weak. 
Hand in hand we watch the train as it glides 
Out, out, out into the night. 

So take him into thy holy keeping, O Lord, 

And guide him and guard him ever, and fare him well ! 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

i6tk Feb. 1895. 

My dear Hans — I never called you by your Christian name 
before, but I know I may do so now. We keep thinking of you 
all the time, and hoping that you got through your awful journey 
without the serious harm which such a terribly bleak night might 
very easily do you. I woke often in the night, and after one 
o'clock I said to myself, ^' Thank heaven he is off the sea now." 
I saw next morning that it had been rough. We fear you suffered 
much. What a beast I was for not taking you as far as Cahis 
myself and helping you if you were ill ; but it only occurred to 
me yesterday. Before I had done dressing I got out Bradshaw 
and noted your whereabouts, and glad indeed was I when it was 
half-past five and I could think of you as warm, and, I hope, being 
packed off straight to bed. 

In the evening I went up to Jones's, and we tried to talk of 
other things, but it was no use ; we kept turning back to you 
again and again, and saying to each other that, as we had never 
seen anyone like you before, so we never expect to do so till, as 
we hope, we again one day see your own dear, kind face, looking 
well and strong and happy as you deserve to be. 

We both say we hope you will be too busy to have time to 
think much about us ; you will, I know, if you can, and we hope 
that you will be hindered. The sooner we all of us, as men of 
sense and sober reason, get through the very acute, poignant 
sorrow which we now feel, the better for us all. There is no fear 
of any of us forgetting, when the acute stage is passed. I should 
be ashamed of myself for having felt as keenly and spoken with as 
little reserve as I have if it were anyone but you ; but I feel no 
shame at any length to which grief can take me when it is about 
you. I can call to mind no word that ever passed between us 
three which had been better unspoken ; no syllable of irritation or 
unkindness ; nothing but goodness and kindness ever came out of 
you, and such as our best was we gave it to you as you gave yours 
to us. Who may not well be plunged up to the lips in sorrow at 



parting from one of whom he can say this in all soberness and 1895 
truth ? I feel as though I had lost an only son with no hope of ^^' 59 
another. However — the sooner we can all take refuge in active 
employment the better for us all. 

Do not trouble to answer this. You will have much to do, 
and I have nothing ; hence it is not hard for me to write while it 
would be so for you. You can answer by your next letter to 
Jones. I know he wrote to you yesterday ; on Monday morning 
we hope for good news of you. How I hope indeed that it will 
be all that we could wish. 

The fault about your photographs was under-exposure. All 
of them came out in the end, but they wanted twice the exposure 
I gave them. I suppose it was the yellowness of the light that 
threw me out. I shall send prints of the two best as soon as 
Alfred can come down and print them, but they are not good, 
and, though Jones and I would rather have them than nothing, 
they are not near so good as the Stereoscopic Company's portrait 
of you. 

And now with every loving and affectionate thought which 
one man can think about another. Believe me always from the 
bottom of my heart yours 

S. Butler. 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

24 Feb. 1895. 

My dear Hans . . . And now I gather that you are to go 
to Singapore, and I write a few lines to catch you before you 
leave Basel on Wednesday. 

I am very glad you are going, for a great many reasons. Of 
course Jones and I would rather have you here, but I am afraid 
of our climate for you, and from all I can learn I have a great 
hope that Singapore will do you good. It would be no pleasure 
to us to have you here and to find that the fog and damp were 
doing you harm. Besides you will never be happy till you have 
travelled, so good luck go with you, and come back to us well 
and strong in a few years' time. 

Now I have one last, great favour to ask of you. Suppose 
when you get to Singapore vou find you have made a serious 
mistake — you will not think so unless you have really made 
one — especially, suppose the doctors out there tell you that you 
will do yourself a mischief if you stay \ suppose you would come 
back only do not quite see your way and do not wish to apply to 
your mother for fear of burdening her ; then, my dear Hans, let 
me beseech you in the name of all the affection a dear father can 
bear to a very dear son, by the absurd, idiotic tears that you have 



1895 wrung from me, by those we wnmg from yourself, by the love 
Act. 59 which Jones bears you and which you bear towards him — if these 
things will not prevail with you nothing will — ^apply to me, and 
do so without delay in whatever way will ensure your getting 
the answer quickest which you will immediately receive — ^1 mean 
draw on me at once for your passage money and necessary expenses 
and come home. 

The one thing that alarms me about your going is the fear 
of your finding it not suit your chest when you get there, and 
sticking on, as you would probably do, rather than burden your 

You need not answer this — I know how busy you must be — 
I shall assume that I have your ' promise, and it will be a great 
comfort to me, for Alfred does not rely upon me with greater 
confidence for anything I have promised him than I do on you 
for anything I feel I have a right to claim ; and so, my very 
dear Hans, bon voyage et bon succis. As for me, I have a 
lusting after Gravesend and Gadshill. It will comfort me to 
know that the bowels of the landlady of the Shakespeare Inn are 
acting quite regularly. We think of you and love you always. 

S. B. 
Butler to Hans Faesch. 

8 March 1895 — Since I began to write this I have received 
an exceedingly kind letter from your mother and I am to call on 
her next time I go through Basel which I should think will be 
at the beginning of April. 

I took Alfred the Gadshill walk last Thursday and I seemed 
to have the shadow of another dear person with us all the while. 
I did not see the landlady of the Shakespeare ; she has hurt her 
leg falling over the top of a cask ; I hope she will get all 
right, for I like her. To-day I went with him to Harrow 
Weald (where Queen Elizabeth is) and we had the first really 
warm and spring-like day that we have yet had. It was a great 
treat to both of us. The gulls are nearly all gone, but a few 

It seems oh 1 such a long time since that never-to-be-forgotten 
night on which you left us and when we were so terribly 
frightened about you. It is hard to think that it is only three 
weeks to-day. Jones and I never talk long of anything else but 
you. It seems to me, the more I think of it, that the true life of 
anyone is not the one they live in themselves, and of which they 
are themselves conscious, but the life they live in the hearts of 
others ; our bodies and brains are but the tools with which we 
work to make our true life which is not in the tool-box and 


tools we ignorantly mistake for ourselves but in the work we do 1895 
with them ; and this work, if it be truly done, lives more in Act. 59 
others than in ourselves. Look at Handel and Shakespeare — 
what was their conscious life in themselves as compared with 
their unconscious life in us ? I made this the subject of my 
lecture at the Women's Club. And so you are living, and very 
dearly loved, in us, you good and dear Hans, and we feel happy 
in the assurance that we too are living in yourself; and so good 
night and bless you. 

"My lecture at the Women*s Club" was the one 
delivered at the Somerville Club on 27th February 1895, 
and is reproduced in The Humour of Homer and Other 
Essays (19 13) as " How to Make the Best of life." 

Hans arrived safely at Basel and proceeded to 
Singapore. We sent him a copy of the In Memoriam, 
and he was puzzled that Butler should use such expressions 
as "Guide you and guard you, Heaven," and "Take 
him into thy holy keeping, O Lord." Something 
must also have been said about publishing the poem 
anonymously, Butler having sent it to his literary agent 
who, however, did not find anyone to take it ; it was not 
published till it appeared in The Note-Books of Samuel 
Butkr {1^12). 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

15 March 1895 — And now about my poem. I am not 
comfortable about publishing it, but of course all names will be 
carefully concealed. I wanted to set you and Jones and myself 
together, as it were, in a ring where we might stay and live 
together in the hearts of the kind of people we should have loved 
had we known them. Mrs. Bovill, Jones, Gogin, and myself are 
the only ones that know about it. No more will be told. I 
think the lines are so obviously true and so simple that the best 
people would like them and, finding Jones and Mrs. Bovill agree 
with me, I decided to let the thing go. I hope I have not done 

You must not think that I am becoming more a believer in 
prayer and all that nonsense than I was. We think exactly the 
same, but I know no words that express a very deeply felt hope 
80 well as those I have used, and the hot that others make money 
by prostituting them shall not stop me from using them when I 
am in the humour for doing so. 


Butler to Hans Faesch. 

1895 22 March 1895 — I liked all you told me about the priests and 

Act. 59 the rosarv [Hans had met some priests at Marseilles]. When I 
flirted with priests, as I did sometimes (though I hate them just 
as you do), my friend Miss Savage used to tell me I was making 
myself friends of the Mammon of Righteousness. Well, it 
amuses one sometimes to humbug the Mammon of Righteous- 
ness, doesn't it ? 

And you know I have a dream that when you have been in 
Singapore about 18 months I shall take a return ticket and run 
out and have a look at you. I cannot, of course, be certain that 
I shall be able to work this, but I know no particular reason why 
I should not — ^and you bet I should like to. 

Yesterday Alfred was teasing me when I was busy and I 
spoke a little sharply. Then, immediately remembering, I 
said : 

'' My dear Alfred, if I ever speak crossly like that please to 
say ' Hans ' at once and it will stop me. Hans was never cross 
and that was why we were so fond of him.** 

Alfred said: ''Well, Sir, I am sure Hans would not like 
it if he was to hear you speaking cross to me." 

I answered : '' Of course he would not, my dear Alfred, and 
that is why I want you to say ' Hans ' at once." 

You see it is just this : if the having known you makes me, 
as it ought to do, less irritable and more forbearing, then, no 
matter how far off you are, you are within me ; I have got 
something of yourself and I shall know that it was not all 
humbug but that I really did understand and love you. Whereas 
if I am no less irritable than before, then I shall know that 
I never understood you or loved you truly. And this shall 
hardly be. 

As we have seen, Butler had completed the life of 
his grandfather; his literary agent was now offering 
it to publishers. Being finished it had for him lost 
its absorbing interest and he was giving his time and 
his mind to his Odyssean theories. Extracts from his 
translations had appeared in The EagUy and here is a 
letter in which he gave to Mr. Sikes, who was then 
editing the St. John's College magazine, his views 
about the limits of permissible archaism in translating the 
classics : 


Butler to E. E. Sikes^ Esq. 

25 Feh. 1895 — I quite understand the view taken by some — 1895 
that* a certain amount of archaism ^ is helpful in projecting the Aet. 59 
mind back," etc. I have therefore given modern English a 
pretty wide range and taken it as far back as Defoe for the 
Odyssey y and Bunyan for the Iliad^ beyond whom it cannot go 
without obvious affectation. 

And then there is this. People who are at the trouble of 
translating the Iliad and Odyssey for love invariably flatter them- 
selves that their translations will be referred to by a remote 
posterity, and they prefer to let time grow its own archaisms into 
their work — as a good sound wholesome wine will mellow with 
time, when one that has been mellowed artificially will not keep 
good for long. He who would write a translation like those of 
the Elizabethans must above all things else avoid Elizabethanisms. 

I am very much indebted to you for the publicity you are 
giving to my extracts. 

Many of Butler's Sicilian friends knew Greek and 
would discuss the Odyssey with him, but he found scarcely 
any one in England who took any intelligent interest in 
the subject, and the professional Greek scholars were 
silent or contemptuous. He used, therefore, to talk 
about the Odyssey to me, coming to my rooms evening 
after evening, inventing the objections which his opponents 
ought to have raised, considering them, adopting them 
tentatively, and finally embracing them with such ardour 
that he crushed them to pieces. In this way the evolution 
of his theory proceeded, and he assured himself that, when 
his book should be published, his critics (if any) would be 
able to bring forward only such objections as he had 
already considered and demolished. I, knowing he had 
been at work on the Odyssey all day, used to try to get 
him oflF it by introducing other subjects, telling him what 
I had been doing, or what I had heard from Rockstro 
about just intonation, or something I might have read 
in a paper, such as that Madame Blavatsky had had it 
revealed to her from Thibet that every one is accompanied 
through life by an Agatho-daemon and a Kakatho-daemon 
who suggest to him the doing of good deeds and of evil 
deeds ; or I would tell him anything I thought likely to 



X895 amuse him and take him out of himself. It was of no 
Act. 59 ^jgg^ ^3 gQQjj ^ J began to talk, he was silent, but he 

was not listening ; he was miles away, helping Nausicaa 
to wash her clothes at the salt-works of S. Cusumano ; or 
sitting with Eumaeus in his hut on the slopes of Monte 
Erice ; or he would be going in and out of the house 
of Ulysses and seeing how like it was to the stabilimento 
at Selinunte, where he had had lunch, and how unlike a 
house in Gower Street; or he would be driving with 
Telemachus and Pisistratus in their chariot across **the 
Taygetus range over which there has never yet been a 
road for wheeled vehicles."* When I left off talking 
there would be a pause during which he would come back 
and wait in case I had not done ; after which he would 
continue : 

" And then, you know, she makes Circe " — do some- 
thing which no one but a young unmarried woman would 
have thought possible — or whatever it might be that had 
been absorbing him. 

This incessant dwelling upon one subject at last began 
to produce its elBfect, and he let out to me that, in going 
home from Staple Inn, he had sometimes felt giddy and 
was obliged to hold on to the railings to keep himself 
from falling. I talked this over with Dr. GreatRex, who 
was then attending him, and he recommended me to see 
him home, which I accordingly did whenever he would 
let me. I did not tell him why I came, because his line 
with me was that there was nothing serious the matter 
with him, and it was advisable not to let him suspect 
that I was alarmed. Fortunately circumstances permitted 
his taking his holiday in the spring instead of the autumn 
this year. 

He had been in the habit of giving Alfred an outing 
on the continent at Whitsuntide, thinking it right that 
Alfred should know something of foreign countries. In 
1888 they went to Boulogne; in 1889 to Dieppe and 
Rouen; in 1890 to Boulogne again. In 1891 a further 
attempt was made to continue Alfred's education by 
taking him to Ostend, Brussels, Waterloo, Dinant, and 

^ The Odytxe^ rtndertd imto English prose. Note on p. 38. 

xxxiii ALFRED'S EDUCATION 209 j 

Bruges. In 1892 they went to Paris with Cook's Whit- i«95 ! 

suntide excursion ; in 1893 to the Channel Islands; and^^'^' 

in May, 1894, to Brussels, Antwerp, Basel, Lucerne, 

Andermatt, and the Rigi. There are photographs of 

" Alfred on the Field of Waterloo," " Alfred on the 

Rigi," " Alfred on the S. Gottardo," and so on. 

Then there came a break in Alfred's education 
because after his marriage it was difficult for him to 
leave, especially when children began to arrive ; and, as 
the reader will have gathered, Alfred became a father 
with Shakespearean promptitude. Moreover, it presently 
appeared that these excursions resembled Fausf at the 
Lyceum and were rather "a-draggin"' on Alfred. 
This part of his education was no more successful than 
the piano lessons had been. I am afraid Butler must be 
held to have failed with his pupil much as Miss Savage 
failed with Butler when she made him read MiddUmarch 
and tried to make him read Balzac. Alfred gave me an 
account of his foreign experiences. The first night they 
were at Wassen it was very dark, and, while they were 
taking a turn in the village after dinner, Alfred heard 
some queer rumblings and inquired what caused them. 
He told me that Butler replied : 

"Well, Alfred, I should think those are probably 
some little avalanches ; they're always a-tumblin' down 
the mountains." 

This did not reassure Alfred, who was afraid they 
might fall upon him and bury him. He did not stay 
in the valley long enough to grow accustomed to seeing 
the mountains towering above him, and, being unable to 
get the perspective right in his mind, thought they were 
overhanging and that it would be impossible for him 
to escape. 

"And then," Alfred continued, "another day he 
takes me into a little chapel, all full of bones — beastly 
gloomy, you know. Sir. But the governor, he didn't 
mind. He went on a-pickin' up skulls and talking all 
the time. Oh ! I was glad to get back again to Loo-sern 
atld Mount Palatious, I can tell you." 

Butler, with a shade of disappointment in his voice, 




1895 told me about an excursion with Alfred up the Rigi in 
Act. 59 ^^ r^lway. When they were on the top, Butler, full 
of enthusiasm, pointed out the objects of interest : 

** There is the Bernese Oberland, you see, Alfred, 
over there ; and that is the Lake of Lucerne, just under- 
neath, to the left." 

" Yes, Sir," said Alfred. 

" And that is a bit of the same lake to the right ; 
you must not think it is a different lake, it is only 
divided by that shoulder of the Rigi." 

" Yes, Sir," said Alfred. 

"And there is Pilatus which I showed you from 
Lucerne, you remember. Don't you think it's very 
fine ? " 

" Yes, Sir," said Alfred. 

" And then over here — you must look this way now 
— those are the Glarnisch Alps, and if you look that way 
you will be looking up the valley we go through on our 
way to Italy in the S. Gottardo Railway. Aren't you 
glad I brought you ? " 

" Yes, Sir," said Alfred, " and thank you for telling 
me about it. And now if you please. Sir, I should like 
to lie down on the grass here and have a read of 

Which he accordingly did, having brought a copy 
with him from London. 

On the whole, Alfred was glad to agree to a com- 
promise whereby, instead of going for any more Whit- 
suntide outings, he received ^^lo each year, and took his 
family to the seaside in the autumn. 

I read this passage about his foreign tours to Alfi^, 
and he said : 

"Yes, Sir, that's all quite true, and I think you've 
done it very nice." 

Butler's work on the Odyssey had caused him to 
re-read the //iW, and he wanted to ascertain for himself 
how far the descriptions of the localities in that poem 
agree with the actual Troad. He had dreaded going 
to Greece in the autumn because he thought it would 
prove hotter than Sicily ; but this year, Alfred's Whit- 

xxxm A TURK'S TERRIER 211 

suntide holiday having been commuted, he left England 1S95 
for the Troad on 30th March. Before going he made ^^' ^^ 
arrangements with his bank that Hans Faesch might 
draw on him for ;^ioo if he found that Singapore did 
not suit him and was unable to return to Europe for 
want of means. 

First he went to Basel and saw the Faesch family ; f 
then to Casale to see the Avvocato Negri about Taba- 
chetti; then to Florence, where he stayed at the hotel 
kept by Isabella of Arona. Here also he saw our friend, 
Miss Helen Zimmem, who was by this time settled in 
Florl5fl[CeTrad-wasr'6diGhg 7%e ItaRan GazettCy wherein she 
published this spring some articles "By Butler about his 
Odyssey theories, the substance of which was incorporated 
in The Authoress of the Odyssey. 

From Florence he went through Rome and Naples to 
Brindisi where he embarked on the evening of 13th 
April for Corfu. Here he saw the island which, by those 
who identify Corfu with Scheria, is supposed to be the 
ship of Ulysses, and found that it would not do at all. 
Indeed, he found no recognisable Odyssean feature in 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 


17 April 1895 — I travelled from Patras to Athens with a 
young Turk, about 30 years old, and his dog — an English terrier. 
We were alone in the carriage the greater part of the time, and 
I suppose the poor dog was bored, at any rate after a while he 
made up to me ; he licked me all over my face, and then began 
to pretend that my coat pocket had got a rat in it which he must 
catch. I was so flattered at being made up to by anyone or 
anything who seemed to tell me I was a nice person that I let 
him go on and hunt for rats all over me, till at last his master 
interfered in beautiful English and then we talked. He was 
a Secretary to the Turkish Legation and was very clever and 
very nice. 

The coffee here is served up grounds and all ; it is ground 
very fine ; it drinks thick on the tongue ; I rather like it. The 
oranges are splendid, so big, so heavy, so juicy, and so sweet ; 
they are as good as peaches. 

He wrote to me also about this young Turk : 

212 "A FUNNY MAN" xxxm 

1S95 ^^ ^^^ ^^^ intelligent and nice, but a little inclined to say 

Act. 59 that nothing was much good or came to much in the long run, 

and this is as bad as saying that it does ; so, though I liked him, 

I parted from him without much caring. But the dog was lovely 

and made great friends with me. 

At the hotel in Athens he encountered Miss Jane 
Harrison who had been present in 1892 at his lecture on 
" The Humour of Homer." 

Miss Jane Harrison 

I went up and recalled myself to her. She was still sore 
about the lecture and I apologised, reminding her that I had had 
to keep a room full of working-men in good humour. 

''Besides,*' I added, ''you chastised me quite severely enough 
at the time." 

"Was I rude?" 

" Yes," said I, laughing, " very rude." 

So we made it up and smoked a couple of cigarettes. We 
dined together during the rest of my stay in Athens, and I tried 
to ingratiate myself with her, but it was rather up-hill work, and 
I shsdl never be genuinely forgiven. However, I did my very 
best. . . . We did not quarrel but we did not, I think, lilce one 
another. . . . She would not have it that I was anything but a 
" funny man " who had taken my present line as a kind of forced 
literary joke. 

Similarly, I have met people who had read Life and 
Habit^ and who, while professing to admire the book, were 
unable to see that it had or was intended to have any 
bearing upon evolution. 

Miss Harrison declared to Butler that she had not 
written the Spectator review of " The Humour of Homer " 
(ante, p. 132). 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


20 April 1895 — I have interested them at the British School 
of Archaeology here but, as at the British Museum, they will 
hear, but run dark themselves. I have also interested some native 
Greeks so far that they wanted to know all about it. The thing 
is certain to be accepted sooner or later.^ 

The antiquities here are soon seen, and I have pretty weU 

^ The Sidliin origin and female aathonhip of the Odysstf, 

214 MISS ALDRICH xxxm 

1895 There is a woman here [Miss Jane Harrison] who heard my 

Act. 59 lecture about the Humour of Homer and was very angry and 
rude to me about it afterwards. So I went up to her and 
determined to mash her. I don't know whether I succeeded or 
no, but I did my level best. She did not like it at first, but I 
deferred to her opinion on every subject and, after a time, I think 
I made her melt, at any rate a little. Of course I was only 
playing with her and laughing in my sleeve, but I mean to keep 
it up. 

On the excursion [to Mycenae] I met five ladies — very nice, 
all of them — ^and we mashea each other in fine style. And then, 
near one temple, we found a mamma tortoise with a dear little 
baby tortoise, just like Alfred and his baby. Of course we left 
them alone as soon as we had admired them sufficiently ; but a 
young Englishman then saw them and he took them away at 
once. He will do his best to be kind to them ; but I am afraid 
they would rather be near their own temple than in an English 

This, you dear person, must do for the present as I have 
several letters to [^' right " deleted] write and my head, though 
better, is not all that it should be. When I begin writing 
["writing" repeated and deleted] "right" for "write," it is a 
sign that I had better stop i so bless you and all good luck be 
with you. 

P.S, — I have had my dinner since I finished, and have been 
mashing the lady. I think she is melting and she smoked two 
cigarettes. Only think, on Sunday I shall be at Smyrna, in Asia, 
so we shall be on the same continent at any rate i thence I go 
on to Troy. 

I One of the five ladies on the excursion was Miss 

Annie Charlotte Catharine Aldrich. Transposing the 

\ letters of Aldrich she made Childar, and as Catharine 

\ Childar wrote The Double Dutchman (1884) and other 

f novels. She was a friend of Charles Gogin and his wife 

■. from whom she had heard of Butler. She also knew 

Butler*^ other fellow-student at Heatherley's, Miss Ross, 

whose brother performed the ceremony of marriage 

between the man and the cook by reading a chapter of 

Tristram Shandy (ante, I. pp. 136-7). Through the Gogins 

Miss Aldrich, some years after Butler's death, sent nie 

extracts from the diary she kept while in Greece and gave 

me permission to reproduce them. 

xxxiii "BROWN CAP'* li^ 

Extracts from the Journal kept by Miss Aldrich 

WHILE IN Greece 


Athens. Mond. 22 ApriL — Went to Cook's office, to get 1S95 
tickets for the excursion to Mycenae. . . . Act. 59 

Tuesday 2yd, — Called at five, got away very uncomfortably, 
no breakfast, no comfort. Cook's man saw us off. We had 2nd 
class tickets, the carriage was very old-fashioned, no cushions, 
partitions of the compartments only reaching up to the back of 
the seats, like our 3rd class carriages of 30 years ago. We were 
at the end and could see all down the compartments. A young 
Englishman was there. He read TTu Heavenly Twins through- 
out the entire journey and looked at nothing but his book.^ His 
tutor v^as with him and the old professor from our hotel and 
an oldish gentleman in a brown cap, like a tam-o'-shanter, and a 
nondescript Englishman. They were all in the furthest com- 
partment. I heard Brown Cap say something very heterodox 
about the rock of Ulysses, and the old Professor, who I think was 
German, waxed wroth and then very scornful. 

I whispered to Mrs. S., ^ I do believe that is Samuel Butler." 

We found carriages in waiting, and Mrs. S. and I drove off 
together, our other three ladies together. . . . Finally the 
carriage stopped, and we got out to see a beehive treasure-house 
built of enormous stones. I only wish I had measured them, 
they were so huge. The guide lighted some brushwood in the 
inner room, which was the real tomb, and we noticed the build 
of the gate, a triangular space left open as in the gate of the 
citadel where are the celebrated lions. 

When D. came to me to ask me to interpret for some gentle- 
men who had had no lunch and wanted some, I was much 
flattered, but, as there was nothing to be bought, we offered 
them the remains of our lunch, eggs, rolls, and half a bottle of 
wine. When they had finished I made bold to go up to Brown 
Cap and ask him if he was Mr. Butler. He was and I was quite 
excited. I spoke to him of Rossy \t,e. Miss Ross] and Viareggio, 
and he was enthusiastic and said how nice she was, and I 
mentioned the Gogins and he exclaimed : 

^ The nicest people in the world." 

After that I talked to him whenever I could. His companion, 
the nondescript Englishman, was a Mr. Burtt, a tutor and a 
cleric. He came to me and begged me to tell him Mr. Butler's 
name and what books he had written and so on, but he was 

^ This WM the young man who took the tortoises. 



1895 no wiser when I did. He had never heard of Erewhon nor any 
Act. 59 of the others. We saw the tomb of Electra. . . . We saw the 
grave of Agamemnon, where all the gold treasure that is now in 
the Athens museum was found, and the peribolos where the 
elders used to sit in council In the entrance to the tomb Mr. 
Butler photographed all our party. Then on to the palace where 
were ruins of chambers and bases of columns and the place of 
the hearth. . • . 

We then drove to Argos which was en f^te, flags flying, etc. 
We got out of the carriage and took a cup of coffee each, in the 
open square, to the great amazement of the inhabitants. Then 
Mr. Butler and Mr. Burtt driving up joined us and we were 
quite gay. The Greeks are very stupid at understanding, so 
different from the Arabs. Thev asked Mr. Butler : 
** How many cups of coffee r " 

He said, "Tpcts" (Treis), pronouncing it as the English do 
« trice." 

The waiter couldn't understand ; so I said, " Treece," which 
is how they pronounce. I do not say ^ the modern pronunciation," 
for I believe it was the old as well, and that it is a great pity 
the English pronounce Greek as they do. Mr. Butler, who is 
a great Greek scholar, would have been understood everywhere 
if he had pronounced the vowels and accented the words as the 
Greeks do. 

Then the other carriages came up and we drove to Tiryns, a 
weary cold drive, the N.E. wind bitter. Tiryns is older than 
Mycenae, Mr. Butler thought 2000 B.C., roughly speaking. He 
was delightfully simple and childlike. He upset Mr. Joyce 
dreadfully with his theories, but they got on better afterwards. 
We saw the men's apartments and the huge hearth. . . . 

Hotel at Nauplia stuffy and curtained — excellent wine at 
dinner (resinous), execrable tea next morning at breakfast. I 
spoke to the maid and told her to bring fresh for Mr. Butler ; 
his looked such wash. . . . Away by 9.40, changed at Corinth, 
our three ladies returning to Athens, and D. and I going on to 
Patras. Parnassus shewed up occasionally all the way, and, in 
the Morea, Taygetus and Kyllene were splendid. Mr. Butler 
pointed them out with joy. I told him I had read Erewhon and 
Alps and Sanctuaries j he recommended Ex Voto as " humane " 
— a delightful person. I was sorry to part. . . . Mrs. S. went 
back in the carriage with him to Athens. • • • D. and I came 
on to Patras. 

After Miss Aldrich returned to England she told the 
Gogins about this meeting and Gogin wrote to Butler : 
"That is the lady to whom about thirteen years ago I 

xxxiii A TRICKY SADDLE 217 

mentioned the fact of your having a literary larder," 1895 
meaning, of course, his Note-Books. ^®** ^' 

Butkr to H. F. Jones. 

Inba (or however I ought to spell it), Thb Troad. 

and May iZ^S- 

I left the Piraeus on Saturday Ap. 27, reached the island of 
Chios in the night, went on about 7 a.m., reached Smyrna at 
noon, and spent the day about the town, all very oriental, lots of 
camels, bazaars, etc. ; went from Smyrna on Monday evening at 
5 ; reached the Dardanelles at about 10 a.m. Tuesday ; called on 
Mr. Calvert, American vice-consul, who was extremely kind and 
took me to the English consul, Mr. RusselL They fixed me up 
with an interpreter and head-man, Yakoub, quite trustworthy and 
respectable, and I was also to have a mounted soldier, or zaptieh, 
and my head-man's under-man ^ all which I took as I was told. 

We started from the Dardanelles about two p.m. LrOts of 
camels on the riverbed lying down. Lots of storks — very tame 
and engaging. An hour or so after leaving the Dardanelles I saw 
on my right a flat-topped hill— evidently on an ancient site which 
I afterwards found to be Dardanus : strings of loaded camels all 
the time. The country a good deal like Winchelsea and Rye. 

Found my saddle very uncomfortable, but was patient. I had 
to keep only the tips of my toes in the stirrups, and they had 
padded the back so that I had to be almost standing on the tips 
of my toes all the while. At last I got my feet home in the 
stirrups which did not mend matters much, and then I could not 
get back again, and two knobs chafed and bruised the inside 
of my thighs *, and then presently the saddle, without a word of 
warning, turned round under the horse's belly. I could not 
extricate myself and lay among the horse's feet helpless. Had 
the horse been timid I should have been in a bad way, but he 
is very sensible and very good — a delightful person — he saw what 
it was at once and stood stock still till the men came and 
rescued me. I had £dlen on a bank of soft sand and was not 
even shaken, and as soon as I got (or was got) up, I christened 
the horse Hans. The men were all very good to me. 

I passed Renkoi, under the site of the ancient Ophrynium, 
looking down on Tenedos, Imbros, and Samothrace, with the 
iiigher parts of Lemnos just popping up above the sea. Country 
getting more hilly and very beautiful, weather perfect. After 
five hours' riding, the latter part in great discomfort, we reached 
Mr. Calvert's farm [at Thymbra] just at dark. A large &mily 
party — all very kind and hospitable and like a first-class New 

2i8 TROY 


1895 Zealand sheep station. They farm 1000 acres about an hour 
Act. 59 from old Troy. 

Next morning Mr. Calvert's nephew took me to Troy 
(Hissarlik) and explained all the latest excavations of 1 893-1 894, 
which unearthed what are, I should say beyond all question, the 
walls of the lUaid. What Schliemann found was an earlier lot. 
The first impression is one of disappointment. The walls cannot 
be earlier, one would say, than 1650 B.C. (the Mycenean age). 
They are not megalithic ; they approach regular courses, without 
reaching them ; they appear at first sight poorly put together. 
On seeing the parts that have been sheltered from exposure, either 
by aspect or fallen earth, one perceives how very beautifully built 
they really were \ they are about 18 feet thick at top, and thicker 
at tx>ttom, and must have been very high. The whole south 
wall, looking towards Sigaeum, is missing, but Strabo expressly 
tells us that Sigaeum was built of the walls of ancient Trov. 
Doubtless they took the wall nearest them. Helen could perfectly 
well distinguish swells down below on the plain as in Iliad iii. 
There are abundant traces of an earlier city which was burned 
(as per Iliad) and on the top of, and cutting through the old 
Homeric wall, are the Roman walls of Ilium Novum. 

Then up comes the governor of the Dardanelles forts — 
coffee, cigarettes, compliments, etc. At last I get away and 
ride across the plains to the place where the Grecian fleet lay ; 
get to understand how very substantially accurate it all is, bar 
occasional gross poetical licenses — Hector's running round the 
city is out of the question. The two springs, sources of the 
Scamander, one hot and one cold, are really forty miles off or 
more. I am on my way now, with two soldiers, to see them. . . • 
I reach the Dardanelles on Monday evening. Not a line of 
Homer doing now. Nothing but a week on horseback. My 
horse is worthy of his name ; he is a little beauty. Tell dear 
Alfred as much of this as is good for him with my best love. I 
will continue my story later if I can. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


yd May 1895 — I was interrupted by having to pay a visit 
to the EfFendi of the place whom it was my duty to salute on 
my arrival. I now resume my story. 

Shortly after reaching the two very large barrows which are 
called the tomb of Achilles and Patroclus and the tomb of Ajax, 
which they may or may not be, we were attacked firmly but 
civilly by a Turkish officer who wasted us a good deal of time 
and then gave it up. We rode some hours, I still in great 

xxxiii THE SCAMANDER 219 

discomfort ; passed another very imposing barrow and, about 1895 
six o'clock, reached the rival site of Boun-ar-bashi, or however it Act. 59 
should be spelt, but it was too late to examine the site which is 
some twenty minutes outside the village. We therefore just 
passed through the village and, after crossing the Scamander, a 
stream about as big as the Severn at Shrewsbury, reached Mr. 
Calvert's at about 7.30. I not tired in the least, but sore and 
strained, and tortured through the infernal saddle. 

Next morning I photoed two storks' nests in Mr. Calvert's 
farm buildings with the birds on them, and was then taken to an 
extremely old, very large and imposing barrow, where I saw a 
stratum about twelve feet thick of white stuff, pretty hard pressed 
and compact, which on analysis is found to be wood ashes. I 
also saw more tortoises. This mound is supposed to be older 
than anything now visible at His^rlik. Then we went on 
through lovely, and often very English country, till we got to 
the site above Boun-^u'-bashi which I could not visit last night. 
I looked, I saw nothing but two barrows, both opened, and a 
lovely view over the plains to the sea, and again into the gorge 
of the Scamander, but not a thing which should suggest the 
Iliad to any reasonable person. However, the site has collapsed, 
and I only visited it as in respect to the memory of a departed 
theory which was celebrated in its day. 

Thence we descended on to the river bed flats of the 
Scamander, which reminded me a little of the valley of the Lesse 
near Dinant. Lots of lovely birds, almost as good as some of 
the bird-stuffers' windows we see in Oxford Street, my horse 
just as engaging as ever, and my saddle delightful — for Mr. 
Calvert, seeing how impossible my saddle had been, lent me his 
in which I could ride without fatigue for any distance. Lovely 
English scenery, with cattle standing up to their middles in the 
Scamander and swishing their tails, the flats on either side well 
grassed and studded with Vallonia oak trees, the grass growing 
right up to their trunks. Here under the trees we rested for an 
hour, and about noon lit a wood fire and lunched. 

Then we left the Scamander and went over some high and 
beautiful open country, up hill and down dale by crooked ways 
and straight, till at about 4 we reached Inea where there was an 
inn, not good but better than I expected. All the place as pure 
Oriental as can be conceived. Shortly after my arrival I was 
told I ought to pay a visit to the Efl^endi. I did so. I was told 
I need not on this occasion take off my boots, but my interpreter 
did so. The EfFendi shook hands with me, and then sat down 
cross-legged, like a tailor, on a sofa , we had a cup of coffee and 
a cigarette \ he was very civil and I said all the pretty things I 
could invent. He then enquired at what hour it would be 

220 DISCOMFORT xxxm 

1895 convenient to me to receive his return visit, and this was arranged 
Act. 59 for 8 o'clock on the following morning. 

As I left the EfFendi I heard a loud crying in the air above 
me and, looking up, saw a flight of some thousands of a large 
goose-like bird flying perhaps 150 feet above the ground. These, 
doubtless, are ^ the Strymonian cranes that wrangle in the air " of 
the Iliad. I must find out what birds they exactly are — I believe 
wild geese and nothing else ; Mr. Calvert at the Dardanelles will 
tell me all about them. Then I walked about the town, very 
squalid \ visited the cemetery, evidently the site of an ancient 
city, and came home to get supper and dien to bed. 

Supper was a fair dish of stewed lamb and potatoes, boiled 
eggs, passable bread, good oranges and cofi^ee — ^ho knife provided ^ 
the washing apparatus, a tin straw-hat holding perhaps a pint. • . 
[other discomforts]. I therefore made my arrangements accord- 
ingly. Went to bed about nine and slept welL . . • 

We started about 8.30 after the EfFendi's visit. The inn's 
notion of caf6-au-lait was to boil some milk and throw some 
coffee grains on top of it. However, it did. We went on till 
12 and then found a man under a plane tree, who kept an open- 
air camp cofFee-stall out on the track, where a very friendly, 
shrewd-looking Turk was sitting with the cofFee-vendor, cross- 
legged on a mat under the tree ; also there was a large mob of 
camels and little camels resting, so I shot ofF several plates. Then 
it came on to rain (not very badly) so we pressed on to this 
place, the inn at which is such as none but a true pedant could 
contemplate with equanimity. To-morrow we are to see the 
two sources, one hot and the other cold, close together, which I 
have come all this way to see ; we then return here for the night, 
and after that go back straight to the Dardanelles. So no more 
at present. Hans behaves beautifully. 

P.J. — ^The table is so very uncomfortable that I cannot write 
at it. Give my best love to Alfred and tell him he must share 
this letter with you. He should have both the stamps ; I will 
try and get some at the Dardanelles. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


8 May 1895 — Bairemitch, or however it should be spelt, was 
not a nice place — a filthy earthen floor ; cobwebs in every angle 
of the small square box I had to sleep in ; a sour smelling sack 
or two of stale straw to lie on, covered, it is true, with a fair 
Turkish hearth-rug ; nothing to wash in till I made them bring 
me an old tin petroleum box ; neither table nor seat till Yakoub 


and I improvised one — ^need I go on ? It is like what Arbuthnot 1895 
said to Pope about Handel's genius : " Imagine the utmost you Act. 59 
can imagine and his powers will transcend adl yours of imagina- 
tion." There was a place where they went to discharge their 
natural functions but I would sooner marry Mrs. X. than go 
near it a second time ; indeed it reminded me of Mrs. X. 
Again, need I say more ? The food ? Hard-boiled eggs, up- 
country bread, cheese, and a little lamb's liver — five pieces on a 
skewer like a cats'-meat skewer. 

I visited the swell official of the place ; it being Friday (their 
Sunday) there was a gathering of eight Turks sitting cross-legged 
on a long settee against the wall. The usual coffee and cigarettes 
and pretty speeches. All quite right but I must have another 
soldier, etc. So next morning at six we started — ^lovely weather, 
lovely country, with the snowy top of Ida continually getting 
nearer. After three hours we got among the defiles of the 
mountain itself, and the Scamander became a brawling torrent. 
Presently we came to thick beautiful virgin forest, and a 
government saw-mill with an official and twenty soldiers. The 
official EfFendi [Ismail Gusbashi] was very kind. He knew the 
place I wanted — he would take me there. So up he comes with 
ten soldiers (I had now 13) and a dish of fresh trout and some 
carpets and, after an hour or so through lovely mountain forests 
always following up the Scamander, we reached a piece of level 
grass land under the trees carpeted with flowers and abounding 
with brilliant birds such as blue jays, and I saw some hoopoes. 

Here we bivouacked, and a hundred yards or so higher up 
there was a strong spring gushing out from about 4 feet of rock 
into an artificial receptacle. The water from one corner was 
perceptibly warmer than that from the other, but the waters mix 
so soon and in such volume that one could not easily (if at all) 
get the warm water at its full warmth. Still there was a con- 
siderable difference of temperature, but I felt sure it was not the 
right place, which I have since found that it was not (yes, it was). 
The carpets were spread over the flowers under the trees ; the 
EfFendi sat cross-legged on one corner (you may be sure I had 
given Hans lots of bread already) the soldiers cooked the trout, 
frying them in egg, and they were very nice — hard-boiled eggs, 
cheese, and more cats' meat. 

The EfFendi was a delightful man, but he had now &llen in 
for the first time with Wisdom from the West and was resolved 
not to let the opportunity slip. He was not married ; he was 
rather troubled in mind alx>ut this ; he was now fifty ; would I 
be good enough to tell him whether he had done right or 
wrong ? 

I said that it had evidently been the will of Allah that he 


1S95 should not get married and that, until Allah signified his desire 
Act. 59 for a change in some unmistakeable way, I should conclude, if I 
were he, that I was best fulfilling the will of Allah by remaining 
single. This appeared to comfort him. He lifted his hands to 
heaven and said it was a true word that I had spoken. I said the 
same difficulty had presented itself to me. In my younger dajrs 
I had been passionately in love with a very beautiful young lady 
but — and here my voice trembled, and I looked very sad — it had 
been the will of Allah that she should marry another gentleman, 
and this had broken my heart for many years, but I was now 
beginning to feel better. 

[Here the letter breaks off, but the rest of the story can be 
given from " Homer's Hot and Cold Springs " in The Ifote^Books 
of Samuel Butler^ 191 2.] 

^^ Besides," I continued, ^ suppose vou marry a woman with 
whom you think you are in love and then find out, after you 
have been married to her for three months, that you do not like 
her. This would be a very painful situation." 

** Ah ! yes indeed ! that is a true word." 

^ And if vou had children who were good and dutiful, 
it would be delightful ; but suppose they turned out disobedient 
and ungrateful — and I have known many such cases — could 
anything be more distressing to a parent in his declining years ? " 

^ Ah ! that is a true word that you have spoken." 

^ We have a great Imaum," I continued, ^' in England, who 
is called the Archbishop of Canterbury and who gives answers 
to people who are in any kind of doubt or difficulty. I knew 
one gentleman who asked his advice upon the very question that 
you have done me the honour of propounding to myself." 

^ Ah ! and what was his answer ? " 

^^ He told him," said I, ^^ that it was cheaper to buy the milk 
than to keep a cow." 

'^ Ah ! ah ! that is a most true word." 

Here I closed the conversation and we began packing up 
to make a start. When we were about to mount I said to him, 
hat in hand : 

^Sir, it occurs to me with great sadness that though you 
will, no doubt, often revisit this lovely spot, yet it is most certain 
that I shall never do so. Promise me that when you come here 
you will sometimes think of the stupid old Englishman who 
has had the pleasure of lunching with you to-day, and I promise 
that I will often think of you when I am at home again in 

He was much touched and we started. After we had gone 
about a mile I suddenly missed my knife. I knew I should 
want it badly many a time before we got to the Dardanelles, 



and I knew perfectly well where I should find it ; so I stopped 1895 
the cavalcade and said I must ride back for it. I did so, found ^^^ 59 
it immediately and returned. Then I said to Ismail : 

^Sir, I understand now why I was led to leave my knife 
behind me. I had said it was certain I should never see that 
enchanting spot again, but I spoke presumptuously, forgetting 
that if Allah (and I raised my hand to Heaven) willed it I should 
assuredly do so. I am corrected and with great leniency." 

Ismail was much affected. The good fellow immediately 
took ofF his watch-chain (happily of brass and of no intrinsic 
value) and gave it me assuring me that it was given him by a 
very dear friend, that he had worn it for many years and valued 
it greatly — would I keep it as a memorial of himself? Fortun- 
ately, I had with me a little silver match-box which Alfred had 
given me and which had my name engraved upon it. I gave it 
to him, but had some difficulty in making him accept it. Then 
we rode on till we came to the saw-mills. I ordered two lambs 
for the ten soldiers who had accompanied us, having understood 
from Yakoub that this would be an acceptable present. And so 
I parted from this most kind and friendly gentleman with every 
warm expression of cordiality on both sides. 

I sent him his photograph which I had taken, and I sent the 
soldiers their groups ako— one for each man — and in due course 
I received the following letter of thanks. Alas ! I have never 
written in answer. I knew not how to do it. I knew, however, 
that I could not keep up a correspondence, even though I wrote 
once. But few unanswered letters more often rise up and smite 
me. How the Post Office people ever read ^Bueter, Ciforzin 
St." into « Butler, Clifford's Inn,*' I cannot tell. What splendid 
emendators of a corrupt text they ought to make ! But I could 
almost wish that they had &iled, for it has pained me not a little 
that I have not replied. 

Mr. Samuel Bueter, 

No. 15 Ciforzin St., London, England. 

Mr. Samuel England. Dardxhe^les. ^«^U/9S. 

My dear Friend, 

Many thanks for the phothograph you have send me. 
It was very kind of you to think of me to send me this token 
of your remembrance. I certainly appreciate it, and shall think 
of you whenever I look at it. Ah My Dear Brother, it is 
impossible for me to forget you. under favourable circumstance 
I confess I must prefer you. I have a grate desire to have the 
beautifuU chance to meet you. Ah then with the tears of gladness 
to be the result of the great love of our friendness A my Sir what 

5124 INNOCENCE xxxin 

1895 P^^ ^^^^ describe the meeting that shall be come with your second 
Act. 59 visit if it please God. 

It is my pray to our Lord God to protect you and to keep 
you glad and happy for ever. 

Though we are far from each other yet we can speak with 

Thank God to have your love of friendness with me and 
mine with your noble person. 

Hopeing to hear from you 
Yours truly, 

IsMAYEL from 
Byramich hizar memuerue iuse bashi. 

Butler returned from the Tread to Athens, but was 
not allowed to land because quarantine had been estab- 
lished ; so he changed his steamer and came on to 
Catania. There were two young Americans on board 
" as innocent as two green peas in May." They " read 
their Bible on the Sunday morning and were otherwise 
very fresh, ingenuous, and new-laid-cggy." 

Builer to Hans Faesch. 

Aci Realb. 
13 May 1895 — By the way, I am afraid I shall never venture 
to Singapore \ the six days I had on board the ship between the 
Dardanelles and Catania made me feel as though I could hardly 
stand a month of it, especially in tropical seas. I had forgotten 
what voyages were. However, who knows but I may take 
heart after all, later on. You may be sure I should like to. The 
perpetual jarring of the screw is what I found most trying. And 
now I am just under Mount Etna, and this morning I saw it 
without a cloud and such a lot of snow on it. I thought of poor 
dear you passing this very town where I am now two months or 
so ago, and having the mountains all hidden in clouds. 

He spent a couple of days at Aci Reale and then went 
to Palermo, Trapani, Calatafimi and back to Palermo, 
telling all his friends about his experiences in Greece and 
the Troad, and how what he had seen bore upon his 
Odyssean theories. From Palermo he went by boat to 
Naples and then to Rome. 

He had seen in The Times a statement that Mr. 
Gladstone intended to make a Mediterranean cruise, and 
wrote to him from Rome trying to interest him in the 



Sicilian origin of the Odyssey^ begging him, if he touched 1895 
at Trapani, to consider the question on the spot. ^^ ^^ 
Emanuele Biaggini, from Trapani, and Mario Puglisi, 
from Aci Reale, also wrote to Mr. Gladstone who replied 
to Mario. He thought that " Homer " got the idea of 
Trinacria from a Phoenician report of Sicily and that 
the voyages of Ulysses were confined to a part of the 
Mediterranean more towards the East. At least this is 
what I understood ; and, if so, it is improbable that Glad- 
stone touched at Trapani. Butler received two postcards 
from him, acknowledging receipt of his book or some 
pamphlets on the subject, or perhaps this letter from 
Rome — I have forgotten which. I remember, however, 
that he treated the postcards somewhat in the spirit in 
which we used to read that the North American Indians 
treated scalps, he had them framed and hung them up 
in his rooms. After his death they were given to his 
nephew, Harry Butler, and I have not got them to refer to. 
I also gave to Harry Butler Ismail's brass watch-chain. 

From Rome Butler went to Casale, where the Avvocato 
Negri had unearthed the contract with the Varallo people 
for the making of Tabachetti's " Journey to Calvary " 
chapel^ dated 27th April 1599 : 

Therefore the chapel described in Caccia*s guide, 1586, which 
appeared to correspond with it, must be some other now 
cancelled. It makes a great change in my ideas of things. I 
go to VaraUo to-morrow for one night to see Arienta and talk 
to him about it. 

From Varallo he returned to London, stopping at 
Basel to salute and photograph Madame Faesch and her 
family, and reached London early in June. 

It may not seem much of a rest or change to be taken 
from the Odyssey to the Iliad \ nevertheless the journey 
to Greece and the Troad was both to Butler. He found 
nothing to disagree with in the received opinions concerning 
the geography of the Iliad^ consequently there was nothing 
to invent objections or to fight about, and he returned to 
London with his health restored to something like what 
it had been before the Odyssey began to trouble him. 




1895 — Part II. 



Butler to Hans Faesch, 

x^th June 1895. 

1895 My dear Hans — I took Alfred to Gadshill on Sunday. 

Aet. 59 The public-house where the lady was about whose bowels I 
enquired has changed hands ; the old landlord and his wife have 
retired into private life. I am sorry, for I liked the woman well 
enough. Everything just the same at Gadshill — the garden very 
gay and pretty and eggs abundant. Yesterday I took him to 
Harrow Weald, where Queen Elizabeth is, and we lay down and 
went to sleep for an hour on the common at the top of the high 
ground. These outings do both him and me so much good that 
now the summer is on I mean to take a lot of them. I have 
picked up a good deal this week but my head is still not all that 
it ought to be, and I have no doubt it will be some time yet 
before I undo all the mischief that has been done. 

Alfred has never once had to say '^ Hans '' to me since I came 
back, so I begin to think I am getting quite good-tempered. 
Jones and I, talking about the death of the Sultan of Johore last 
night, said : ^^ Why do they not make Hans the new Sultan, and 
then we could go and stay with him in his Imperial Palace ? '* 
But the older I grow the greater fools I find everybody to be, 
except you and Jones and myself and Alfred and Gogin and about 
half a dozen more. 

There ! It is 9.30 a.m. and I hear Alfred fumbling away 
wi,th his key in the key-hole. He will be inside in another 
second and then how much more do you think he is likely to let 
me write to you or to anyone else ? So with a whole prayer- 
book full of the most beautiful good and kind wishes that a 
grand&ther may send to a very dear grandson — I am yours, 

S. Butler. 


Butler's literary agent did not meet with success in 1895 
offering the MS. of Dr. Butler's Life to publishers. One ^®*- ^' 
of the publishers maintained that 150,000 words was 
the limit for such a book, whereas the words in Butler's 
MS. appeared to amount to nearly a million. This 
was an exaggeration ; nevertheless the work was too 
long. Butler, however, could guess neither how much 
nor what kind of reduction a publisher would be likely 
to require ; and even if he coidd, the idea of shortening 
the book was not pleasing to him because, as he wrote to 
his agent (17th April 1895), ^^ believed that, if less widely 
saleable, it would be more permanently useful as a book 
for reference on all questions connected with the history 
of education from 1790 to 1840 in the shape in which 
he had it than in any other. After anxious thought he 
at last made up his mind to cut out as much as he could 
bring himself to omit and to publish the book at his own 
expense, knowing that this was not giving it the best 
chance of selling, but despairing of finding any publisher 
willing to speculate in it. He returned to Mr. Murray, 
who had already declined to publish the MS. at his own 
risk, and arranged that he should publish it on commission 
after it had been shortened. The shortening and the 
seeing the book through the press provided him with a 
troublesome occupation for more than a year. 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

10 July 1895 — I am in the thick of getting my Life of 
Dr. Butler ready for the press and my head is still not what it 
should be ; it is all right as long as I do not fatigue it^ but with 
a very little extra exertion the mischief returns. 

My Selection Book. I send a copy by this mail and am glad 
that there is someone there [in Singapore] whom you should wish 
to show it to. Hear my prophecy : Some day, when you least 
expect, some one will come to Singapore whose mere presence 
shall change the aspect of the whole place. Or a veil will drop 
off" from some one who is there already, and the heat will become 
less hot thenceforward. 

Zola. [Hans had been reading Lourdesj and wanted Butler 
to read it too.] Nothing can make me think worse of clerics 


1895 generally than I think now. When I have written all I want to 
Act. 59 write, then perhaps I may have a little time for reading, but the 
older I grow the less I read beyond what I am compeUed in the 
course of my own studies. 

Towards the end of June I saw Rockstro for the last 
time. He was in bed, ill in body, but with all his wits 
about himl He was correcting an exercise and ssdd : 

" I am not now looking out for fifths ; it's not worth 
while ; anybody can do that for you ; but you won't get 
anybody else to tell you the things I am telling you." 

I was to go again for another lesson, but he was too 
ill to see me and died on the 2nd of July, aged 72. 

The reader, knowing Butler's views about learning 
and doing, may have been wondering what can have 
happened during his counterpoint lessons. When they 
began I was nervous, as I have said in chapter xxviii. ; but 
I soon saw that there was no probability of their being 
discontinued. In the first place, Butler was very much 
interested in Rockstro and his obiter dicta, and, secondly, 
Rockstro was no less interested in Butler and in all he 
said. Every bar of every exercise became the prelude to 
a discussion on the philosophy of art. It was flogging 
dead horses and fighting battles o'er again for both of 
them, but their enjoyment was not thereby spoiled. 
They, no doubt, enunciated between them all, and more 
than all, that Butler and I had said during our drive 
from Varese to Angera in 1878 (ante, I. p. 282), when we 
passed the architectural mausoleum which provided the 
text for our conversation about arfdmi and yv&crif;. If 
Rockstro, as he probably did, said, as I had said, that an 
artist must master his technique before he can express 
what he wishes to say, Buder certainly objected, as he had 
done to me, that in devoting his energies to gaining this 
power, the artist will lose the desire to say anything, and 
then will come the temptation, which generally proves 
too strong, to glory in merely displaying the ability he 
has acquired. This naturally afforded opportunities for 
a repetition of the contents of the chapter, " Considera- 
tions on the Decline of Italian Art " in yflps and Sane-- 
tuaries^ and of those chapters in the published Note-Books 


which deal with kindred matters.* Fundamentally, per- 1895 
haps, they were of the same opinion ; but they could ^^' ^^ 
not say so openly — such an admission would have put an 
end to the discussiona. Besides, Rockstro was present as 
teacher ; he might have admitted that since art is an 
afBdr of this world, neither subject nor treatment can 
exist alone to any purpose, they are like spirit and body, 
each permeated with the other; but he was chiefly con- 
cerned in enlarging upon treatment and in explaining 
how to make the subject presentable. And Butler, the 
pupil who was there to learn what he could about 
technique, had in his time submitted to so much teaching 
that he listened with suspicion and was jealously watching 
lest he might be overtaken by the fate of "all the clever 
little children," in ^Ips and Sanctuaries^ who get " browsed 
down by the academies." 

So we kicked, but we did Rockstro's exercises. No 
doubt if we had kicked less we should have made more 
progress ; we did not suspect, however, that we were 
wasting time, for we had no idea we were to lose him so 
soon. We looked upon him as a kind of treasure-house 
of learning to which we could always resort to refresh 
our fading memories of all that he had told us about 
the history of the delay in the recognition of the grave 
supertonic among the notes of the diatonic scale ; about 
ornamenting your construction and not constructing 
your ornament ; about the avoidance of the redundant 
limma ; the use of the Fa Actum ; the tritonus. 
Rockstro usually spoke of this last as " Diabolus " ; but 
sometimes he would say : " Ah, yes ! but there now ! 
Yes ; don't you see what you have done ? Well, now 
there you've got That Thing." And he was never tired 
of impressing upon us the necessity for thinking in just 
intonation. He was writing a book about just intonation 
when he died, full of curious and valuable information. 
If he had lived to finish it I doubt whether it would 

^ Namely chapten y\. Mind and Matter ; vii. On the Making of Music, Pictures, 
and Books ; Tiii. Handel and Music ; ix. A Painter's Views on Painting ; z. The 
Position of a Homo Unius Libri \ zi. Cash and Credit ; zii. The Enfant Terrible of 

S?^T^?^r^^TT --V^T^^T^S!''^-^Ty^^^^^^^^^ * - **f' ■-■-' ""■^•t-''* ' *' 

230 LIKE THE TIGER xxxiv 

1895 have found a large market, so few being interested in 
Act. 59 these questions ; for Rockstro they were real living 
interests of the first order, among which he passed much 
of his mental life. 

He was probably the most learned contrapuntist of 
his day, and had what does not always accompany great 
learning, an intuitive sympathy with the mental attitude 
of the pupil. He knew, in some apparently supernatural 
way, all we had been through in preparing an exercise, 
what particular difficulties we had struggled with, what 
we had written first and why we had altered it. He was 
exceedingly kind, but he did not spare us. On the 
other hand, when he gave us a subject that was not to 
our taste we used to tell him about it. If one of us 
succeeded in doing an exercise which met with his 
approval, we could not resist pointing out to him that, 
however correct it might be, it was dismally dull to 
listen to, which he had to admit ; the inference being 
that this was all the fault of his stupid subject. At last 
he made a concession. He said : 

" I see how it is, you are like the tiger who disdains 
to eat meat that he has not himself killed. Very well 
then, I'll tell you what — you shall make your own 

After this, instead of giving us any more subjects, 
he allowed us to bring him the songs and choruses we 
were writing for Ulysses^ and he criticised. Then we saw 
what had happened, and that the old gentleman had 
known where he was going when he made his concession. 
He ruthlessly took advantage of the strong position into 
which he had escaped, and paid us out for grumbling at 
his subjects by stigmatising ours as "unsuitable" — he 
even used a harsher word, many harsher words, such as 
** refractory" and "intractable." His line was that so 
long as we were merely learning to cook we could not 
be blamed for defects in the material supplied to us ; 
but that the moment we undertook, like the tiger, to do 
our own marketing as well, we had loaded ourselves with 
a double responsibility and must put up with the con- 
sequences. And, whereas we had never been able to tell 



him what was the matter with his subjects, except vaguely 1S95 
that they did not please us, he always could show us quite **' ^' 
clearly why ours deserved whatever epithet he chose to 
apply to them. 

With the memory of Rockstro and these discussions 
in his head Butler went down to Shrewsbury to stay with 
his sisters, and wrote to me : 

2nd Aug. 1895 — I am all right, but have said that there was 
chicory in the coffee (I should have said, to be nearer the truth, 
that there was perhaps some coffee in the chicory) and the 
development [by Mrs. Bridges] of this ill-selected and unpleasant 
theme has left me stordito, if that is the word — which I doubt. 

After Rockstro*s death, feeling that we still wanted 
some experienced musician to preserve us from commit- 
ting unpardonable errors in our music, we prevailed upon 
Mr. Sydney Pearce Waddington to steer us through to 
the end of Ulysses^ which he did with great patience and 

For the scheme of our oratorio I had used, as I have 
said above. The Adventures of Ulysses^ by Charles Lamb, 
who wrote to Manning 26th February 1808 : 

It is done out of the Odyssey^ not from the Greek (I would 
not mislead you), nor yet from rope's Odyssey^ but from an older 
translation of one Chapman. The Shakespeare Tales suggested 
the doing of it. 

The reader already knows that Butler's Odyssean 
studies grew out of the writing and composing of Ulysses^ 
which grew out of Narcissus^ which grew out of his 
passion for Handel as applied to his financial difficulties. 
Re-reading the Odyssey naturally suggested to him 
re-reading the Iliad ^ and these two great poems of 
antiquity equally naturally suggested to him re-reading 
the works of the greatest poet of modern times. He 
bought Shakespeare in the Temple edition, and kept the 
volumes in a light bookcase which he had put up over 
his bed. Before going to sleep he gradually read through 
the Plays and began puzzling over the Sonnets. Thus 
he was led from the Odyssey to the Sonnets as Lamb 
had been led from the Plays to the Odyssey. And the 


1895 puzzling over the Sonnets caused him to go to Stratford- 
Aet. 59 on- Avon, just as his puzzling over the Odyssey and the 
Iliad had caused him to go to Trapani and Troy. 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

9 Aug. 1895 — I met Jones at Stratford, as arranged, and we 
called on Shakespeare, but he was not at home. His servants, 
however, for the modest sum of sixpence, let us go all over his 
house and, for another sixpence, we saw the Museum in which 
was his signet ring, ^ W, S.", which he used to seal with and 
there was a letter to him with his address on the outside from 
a gentleman who said he should be very much obliged if Mr. 
Shakespeare would be kind enough to lend him a litde money. 
When he was born they just entered him as ^^ Guglielmus Filius 
Joannis Shakespeare Apnl 1564" — but I do not remember the 
date — and when he died they merely put in the register 
^^ April 23 Guglielmus (or William, I forget which) Shakespeare 
Gent.'* He was entered just like any common person ; and so, 
of course, he should be ; for as ^ God to the man who is writing 
a dictionary is only the word that comes next to ^^ Go-cart," so, 
to a registrar, a name, a date, and a birth, death or marriage are 
the limits within which his concern lies. 

Then we saw the church with his monument and the stone 
under which he lies. I send you a little sixpenny book with 
pictures of the chief things. All the time Jones and I kept 
saying to one another, ^^ Would not dear Hans like this ? " at 
everything we saw. Then we sat on a bench in front of the 
river in the churchyard and smoked a cigarette. We asked our- 
selves whether we would rather bring Shakespeare back to us for 
an hour or have Hans back for an hour from Singapore ; and we 
settled that, if it was to be only once, we ought to say Shakespeare, 
because, by waiting, we hope that Hans will come back of him- 
self and, if we did not have Shakespeare then, we could not have 
him at all ; but for the pleasure of the thing we would rather 
have Hans. 

Butler to Mrs. Bovill. 

12 Aug. 1895 — Thank you for your card. I rejoice to hear 
that you are better. I am rubbing on, but better I am not nor 
shall be till poor old Dr. B. takes his hands from my throat. 

Jones returns this evening and will give me your Sunninghill 

I am having a learned (so pray don't look for it — it is full of 


Greek) polemic in Tht Academy with a Prof. Ridgeway about a 1895 
passage in the lUad. This too is very bad for me — but I could Act, 59 
not help it. 

Writing in Homer 

So much turns upon the correct interpretation of the words 
o^/MTa XvyfA (//. vi. 1 68) referred to in Professor Ridgeway 's 
interesting and valuable letter in Thi Acadimj of July 13, that 
his, as I believe, mistaken rendering '^baleful pictographs ** 
(adopted from Mr. A. J. Evans) should not be allowed to pass 
unchallenged. ' The cn^fiara Avvpa do not refer to the individual 
characters in which the letter of introduction, or testimonial, was 
written, but to the letter or testimonial as a whole \ they are the 
<r^/Mi of 1. 178. These tr^fULra or this cr^/ia — ^plural being used 
much as we say ^^ letters of introduction," without necessarily 
implying that there was more than one letter — was a vCva^ 
irrvfcT^ on which were written 0vfio<f>06pa xoXXcL The passage 
should be rendered : ^ He gave him treacherous letters of 
introduction, to which end he wrote much damaging matter on 
a folding tablet.** There is nothing in the passage to indicate 
that the damaging matter was pictographic rather than alphabetic 

The evidence for a fairly free use of writing in Iliadic times 
and earlier is derived, not from the words trfnuura kvypdy but from 
the statement that these frrj/uLra kvypd consisted of a tablet so 
folded that none but the intended recipient should read what was 
written, and were covered with much writing. A better case 
for pictographic writing might be made from //. vii. 175-189; 
but nothing very positive can be extracted from this passage.— 
Samuel Butler, 12 July, 1895. 

The foregoing letter appeared in The Academy of 
20th July 1895 *^d letters continued to appear week by 
week until the 31st of August, when Butler wrote giv- 
ing a reference to Professor Jebb's Introduction to Horner^ 
which showed that Jebb took " the common-sense view " ; 
whereupon the correspondence ceased. 

In considering the various details of practical life 
which are mentioned in the Odyssey Butler always tried 
to keep his mind in sympathy with the mind of the 
authoress, in the hope of discovering what sort of a 
person she could have been. In the fifth book, after 
Ulysses has been with Calypso for seven years, Mercury 
is sent to tell her to let him go home. So^ in order that 


234 THE GREAT BEAR xxxiv 

1895 he may build himself a raft, she lends him an axe, an 
^^' 5^ adze, and some augers, shows him where the best trees 
grow, and leaves him to proceed with his work. 

He made the raft as broad as a skilled shipwright makes the 
beam of a large vessel, and he fixed a deck on top of the ribs and 
ran a gunwale all round it. He also made a mast with a yard- 
arm and a rudder to steer with. 

This easy generalisation ^' as broad as a skilled ship- 
wright makes the beam of a large vessel,** coupled with 
the careful explanation that the rudder was to steer with, 
convinced Butler that the Odyssey was not the work of a 
shipwright ; just as the details about the hoggets and 
the younger Iambs of Polyphemus, and his getting milk 
from his ewes after their lambs had been with them in 
the day-time "all in due course" {Odyssey^ ix.) show 
that it was not written by a shepherd ; and just as the 
statement, in the discarded Introduction to Part 11. of 
NarcissuSy that the solicitor, who came post-haste to 
make the will of the aunt, brought with him " the usual 
necessary things," may be taken as showing that Butler 
was not a lawyer. The raft, however, got ouilt and was 
seaworthy enough for Ulysses to make the voyage on it 
from Calypso's island (Pantellaria) and, notwithstanding 
Neptune's opposition, to reach Scheria (Trapani). We 
are told that he " steered towards the Great Bear, which 
is also called the Wain, keeping it on his left hand, for 
so Calypso had advised him," and this steering business 
threatened to give Butler trouble. He did not see how 
he could be sure of the precise direction taken by Ulysses 
unless he knew what the Great Bear was doing at that 
time, which appeared to involve entering into intimate 
relations with the Precession of the Equinoxes from 
which he modestly shrank. He was still of the same 
mind about the stars as he had been when I had referred 
to them at Varese in 1878, and quite recently had told 
Biaggini that he knew the sun and the moon but that 
there his astronomy ended. So he wrote to the 
authorities at Greenwich, stating his difficulty and asking 
for information and assistance. The Astronomer Royal, 




although, as he said, the investigation of such literary 1895 
questions was rather outside his province, nevertheless ^^^' ^^ 
sent a polite reply from which it appeared that if Ulysses 
had started from Pantellaria about 3000 years ago and 
followed Calypso's sailing orders, he would have arrived 
at Trapani {The Authoress^ p. 182). And this, as it 
was what Butler wanted for his theory, was entirely 

Butler to Mrs. BovilL 

Aug. 1895 — One line to thank you for your very kind letter 
received the day before yesterday. It is very kind of you to ask 
me to Sunninghill but I cannot possibly come. I leave home on 
Mond. Sep. 2 for three weeks and this time I am to take no 
Homer and no Dr. Butler with me. If that doesn't set me up 
I shall begin to patch up my old body for one place or the other, 
but I think it will set me right. I want something, for I do not 
cross the streets in confidence and I get instinctively as near 
palings and walls as I can. It's all Homer and Dr. Butler. The 
shortening the work [Dr. Butler] is going on and I am more 
than half-way through with it, but it has been a tiresome job. 
I do not want the Homer — or rather the Odyssey — and you can 
show it anyone you wish to show it to. 

I am so glad to hear you say you shall trouble less about 
society for I know you will be a great deal happier and healthier. 
^^ 'OUow " is not a bad enough word for it \ it is filled with 
mephitic gases as well as being ^'oUow." I feel like Jesus 
Christ — when two or three are gathered together I do not mind 
being in the midst of them, but I do not want to be bothered 
with more, and those two or three must smoke. 

Alfred's baby seems to be going on quite nicely now and I 
have every hope that it will pull through. Mrs. Cathie (I mean 
my old Mrs. Cathie, Alfred's aunt) gives it an excellent character 
for general goodness and amiability, and I can trust her to know 
and to tell me what she thinks. She is a good old thing. We 
are now in trouble about the vaccination question in which 
neither Alfred nor I believe, but I suppose we shall have to 
submit to it. 

If you write while I am away Alfred will forward. 

This passage about two or three being gathered 
together was borrowed from Miss Savage's letter (ante, 
I. p. 225), but Butler followed the recommendation he 
gave in his essay " On English Composition " in The 




1895 Eagle of 1858, and by adding the stipulation that they 
A^ct 59 must smoke, " set out the borrowed capital to interest/* 

We went to Switzerland and spent three weeks on 
the S. Gottardo at Wassen, Hospenthal, and Bellinzona. 
At Wassen we stayed at the Hotel des Alpes, where they 
had specially good Chianti this year ; I suppose we must 
have drunk it all — at all events it was never so good in 
the following years. We used to take a bottle with us 
up the side valley to Meien, where we sketched all day, 
meeting for luncheon at the fountain in the village. 
The old priest also came to the fountain to wash his 
shutters which had been taken down for the summer, 
and it was now time to bring them out again and replace 
them for the winter. He had gold rings in his ears, like 
those in one of the portraits of Shakespeare, and, as he 
struggled with his shutters and the water, his sottana 
became disarranged and, like John Pickard Owen and 
his brother, we discovered that the mass of petticoat which 
enveloped the holy man from the waist downwards was 
not all solid priest, but that he had legs as a Christian or 
an ordinary man has and wore trousers. Butler made 
a note about it, and we wondered at the time whether the 
Chianti could have had anything to do with its being 
such a particularly good note as we both thought it. I 
have often wanted to refresh my memory of it but, 
though I have repeatedly looked for it among his papers, 
I have not yet come across it. Perhaps he destroyed it, 
as I fear he must have destroyed another note which I 
remember his making and which also I cannot find. It 
had nothing to do with Chianti. It was a regret that 
Handel had nowhere put into music the wind whirling 
the autumn leaves into spiral eddies along the road. 

In the next letter, to Hans Faesch, Butler alludes to 
the lies he had to tell to get new-laid eggs and the price 
he had to pay for them on our Sunday walks. Further 
particulars can be read in The Note- Books of Samuel Butler 
(19 1 2) *^ New-Laid Eggs" (p. 249). Hans had been 
present at some of the bargaining and had been much 
impressed by the masterly way in which Butler introduced 
the pseudo wife, daughter, or baby for whose benefit the 


eggs were said to be required. It was a standing difficulty 1895 
through the winter and is referred to in other letters. Act 59 
But it did not continue to the end of his life, because 
about 1898 he lost the desire to eat any more eggs, no 
matter how fresh. The fatal facility of cooking them 
had led to his eating them too frequently. 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

15 Nov, 1895 — I took Alfred to Gadshill last Sunday and 
yesterday we went a walk to Harrow Weald and paid a visit to 
Queen Elizabeth. The lies I have to tell to get a new-laid egg 
now are something awful — and then I only get one or perhaps two 
and have to pay 2d. apiece for them. 

13 Dec. 1895 — As for the photo of your people which I sent 
you when I came back from Basel, you say I am not in it ; but, 
you dear person, you are wrong and, as in those stupid puzzles 
that used to go about a year or two ago when we were told to 
find the — whatever it might be, so I have half a mind to puzzle 
you by saying ^ Find Mr. Butler in your print of your mother 
and^ brothers -^ but as I hate to puzzle anybody — ^and especially 
ou — let me say at once that I am underneath your family s 
ugh, I am inside the smile, for it was at me that they were 
laughing. They were all as grave as judges, so I made them 
laugh and thus got myself into the picture. 

This photograph had been taken while we were on 
our way home from Switzerland. Soon after our return 
Butler received a visit from a Sicilian who was in London 
and who had been told to call upon him by one of his 
Trapanese friends. Butler enquired in what way he could 
help him. The Sicilian wanted to learn English, so 
Butler gave him half an hour every day. He wrote to 
another friend at Trapani that his pupil was a delightful 
person but very stupid and made the same mistakes time 
after time. When this had been going on for three months 
the Sicilian borrowed £2, Butler wrote to Trapani : 

He will probably repay me the £7. and then a few days 
afterwards will want to borrow ^^4. if he repays me the £2. 
then I will get rid of him at once. If he does not pay me, then 
I will ask him to do so after a reasonable time and on this I shall 
probably see no more of him. If he wants to borrow more — that 
would be best of all, for I could then refuse and sKqw him th^ 




1895 Of course he ought not to have given him the English 

Act. 60 lessons ; but he felt bound to do so because he had 
received so much hospitality at Trapani and made so 
many friends there. I forget how it ended ; probably 
the Sicilian did want to borrow more with the predicted 

Butler had taken Rockstro's photograph and had 
given a print to Mr. J. A. Fuller Maidand who, as I 
have mentioned in a previous chapter, was musical critic 
for The TimeSy and who had introduced us to Rockstro. 
The photograph was an unusually successful one and at 
Fuller Maitland's request Butler lent him the negative so 
that he might have prints made to give to Rockstro's 
friends. This led to some correspondence from which I 
give two extracts : 

7. A. Fuller Maitland to Butler. 

6 Dec, 1895 — I'm afraid it would not be any inducement if 
I offered to arrange, in return, for a performance of Narcissus on 
Handel Festival scale at the Crystal Palace next summer. 

Butler to J. A. Fuller Maitland. 

7 Dec. 1895 — I have always been a little piqued with the 
Devil for never having thought me sufficiently worth catching 
to bait his hook with a performance of Narcissus on however 
small a scale. For surely he must know that he could in some 
sort catch me about Narcissus. 

tf . 

in. //i^ . A^iityrud f/in-trtuf Q*''l"y 

CHAPTl •. 

THE LIFE JND LET! ERS OF y>V. . '" '. ' ..A'* 

The improvement in Butler's gencrnl In Jt:: Attr hs i^v^ 
journey to Greece and the Troad did nor h^x, -iii \ :r.> '^^' ^^ 
feet were now becoming painful. Dr. Du-igcon 
various suggestions which were followed wii!MH!r sutr-v:..;, 
and the advice of two of the recognised lenJtTs <'i !':• ' > i! 
science led to no better rts'ili. They thought he i» .:' . 
be suffering from gout ^-r -»•, ..i^ or--Kaif a i</-p 
diiFerent things; but his re * : -• ' v-ry j>, (,:*;.! .1 ... 

as the time drew near for h:'^ »*. . r. ,'j s.v- :,.- 

it seemed to me that he 01:1^^*^ ■. \ f.*\' ~to 

I had not accompanied hwii r :. . - . h'?r, 

because he did not like t.h^ r-vspons:: 'J; ' . .-.: to 

a country where there ni'. ht hive Iv.t-n ri. h. , - • . « '-i'V, 
l>€cause there was so m-^n t M'.'-^ling by sea, «::.i I j.-m a 
bad sailor. But, after he i.iu.i. to know the Sicil r^^ he 
saw that the first objection wj.5 a^Nurd ; and as ii was 
possible to go in the railway dcAvi to Repaio, the tJ-.Ni 
iourney need not be more than the 40 minutes' cros^^i^.r 
from Reggio to Messina. I told him that I wanttrd m 
see all the places and be introduced to ail the per.» .i- I 
had heard about, knowing that he wouLl c m^-v show •. . 
them to me ; and so it was settled that I v^.^^ t-- •*.>. 

Wc left London early in April an*1 . . ' ' ♦ '' 
Basel, where we saluted the Faesch family as- ". 
exchir...H\l the information we had receive ' J ' 

in his letters from the East, and they su ••• 





The improvement in Butler's general health after his i«9^ 
journey to Greece and the Troad did not last, and his ^^*' ^ 
feet were now becoming painful. Dr. Dudgeon made 
various suggestions which were followed without success, 
and the advice of two of the recognised leaders of medical 
science led to no better result. They thought he might 
be suffering from gout or neuritis or — naif a dozen 
different things ; but his feet remained very painful and 
as the time drew near for him to go to Sicily in the spring 
it seemed to me that he ought not to go alone. Hitherto 
I had not accompanied him for two reasons ; first, 
because he did not like the responsibility of talcing me to 
a country where there might have been risk ; and secondly, 
because there was so much travelling by sea, and I am a 
bad sailor. But, after he came to know the Sicilians, he 
saw that the first objection was absurd ; and as it was 
possible to go in the railway down to Reggio, the sea 
journey need not be more than the 40 minutes* crossing 
from Reggio to Messina. I told him that I wanted to 
see all the places and be introduced to all the people I 
had heard about, knowing that he would enjoy showing 
them to me ; and so it was settled that I was to go. 

We left London early in April and went first to 
Basel, where we saluted the Faesch family with whom we 
exchanged the information we had received from Hans 
in his letters from the East, and they showed us the 


240 PARAGRAPHS xxxv 

1896 photographs he had sent home. Butler had chosen the 
Act 60 camera for Hans and when he sent it out wrote : 

What we want most are photos of yourself as big and as sharp 
as you can get them. The camera I sent you should take a face 
as big as a shilling — and if you can get it as big as eighteenpence, 
so much the better. 

From Basel we went to Casale where Butler gave a 
dinner at the Albergo Rosa Rossa to the Awocato Negri 
and several of our friends. Then we went to Florence, 
where we stayed at Isabella's hotel ; she dined with us 
one evening and Miss Helen Zimmem came to meet 
her. Another evening we dined with Miss Zimmem and 
a number of her friends came in. Butler took with him 
his manuscript translation of the Odyssey. He was 
showing it to Miss Zimmern and to one of the guests, 
who was a schoolmaster on his way to Rome for Kaster, 
and explaining that he had tried to make it readable, so 
that it might compete with fairy stories and with tales 
of adventure, such as Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver* s 
Travels^ and thus find a market among boys. The 
schoolmaster, glancing at the manuscript, pointed out 
that schoolboys would never read a book in which there 
were so few paragraphs ; the page looked repellent. 
Butler had the habit of not breaking up the pages of his 
manuscript into paragraphs ; his view was, as he had 
explained to Rockstro, that it was an author's business to 
make his meaning dear, and the manner of its presentation, 
though not to be neglected, was of secondary consequence. 
But he profited by the schoolmaster's advice and made 
many more paragraphs when the book was being printed. 

This was not the only lesson he received that evening. 
The other was on a subject more difficult than the 
attractive displaying of type on a page. It was on the 
art of understanding women. Most of the other guests 
were ladies, and the conversation turned upon Stockton's 
story " The Lady or the Tiger ? " Butler had not read 
it, and they had to tell it to him shortly. The princess 
and a young man have fallen in love ; he is to be punished 
by being brought into the arena where he is to open one 


WOMEN 241 

of two doors ; behind one door is a tiger, behind the 1S95 
other is a lady ; if he opens the first, the tiger will come ^^^ ^ 
out and eat him ; if he opens the second, the lady will 
come out and marry him ; he does not know which is 
behind which, but the princess is in the secret and is 
sitting among the audience ; he looks to her for a sign 
and she directs him to open — ^here the story breaks off, 
hanging on the query. Which door did she indicate ? 

The ladies at Miss Zimmern's all agreed that it was a 
foolish query because, of course, no woman could bear 
to see her lover torn to pieces by a tiger ; true, no 
woman could bear to see her lover marry a rival, still it 
would be the lesser of two evils, and women being by 
nature tender-hearted she would certainly spare his life. 
We listened with interest, and felt that we were learning 

The conversation then turned, as it often does among 
English people in Florence, upon the Brownings — and 
what a remarkable pair they were ! and what an ideal 
marriage 1 One of the ladies remembered that she had 
once before discussed "The Lady or the Tiger?" in a 
company which included a lady who knew Mr. Browning 
slightly. At the request of the others this lady had 
written to the poet stating the problem and asking what, 
in his opinion, the princess would have done. Mn 
Browning replied on a postcard that the princess would 
have let out the tiger, and so would any woman ; he 
had no doubt about it. Whereupon the ladies at Miss 
Zimmern's all agreed that Mr. Browning was right. 
And they attributed the correctness of his solution of 
the problem to his consummate knowledge of women, 
acquired no doubt from that wonderful woman his wife. 
And so the conversation was left hanging on a query no 
less perplexing to us than the query of the story, and we 
were not sure that, after all, we had learnt anything. 

From Florence we went through Orvieto to Cortona, 
where Butler showed me in the Museum the famous 
Etruscan lamp and also the painting of "La Musa 
Polinnia," which is reproduced as the frontispiece to 
The Authoress. From Cortona we went to Rome, where 




1896 he showed me the house in which he and his family had 
Act. 60 g^j^yg J in 1843. We saw many of the sights, and 
ascended the tower of the Capitol, as Dr. Butler had done 
in 1822. 

I could not contemplate from this spot, which commands all 
the monuments of Antient Rome, without feeling very strong 
sensations ; in short I could not refrain from an actual gush of 
tears. I stood on the Capitol ; on my left was the site of the 
temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, etc., etc. {The Life of Dr. Butler^ 
I. 227). 

Butler intended the *^ etc., etc.,*' with wluch he breaks 
off the sentence, to cover a smile at the old schoolmaster's 
*• very strong sensations." His own were less unruly ; he 
had no difficulty in refraining from *'an actual gi^ of 

Between Rome and Naples we stopped at Frosinonc, 
drove to Alatri, and wondered at the polygonal masonry 
of the great bastion. All this was doing him good, and 
as we neared Naples it was delightful to observe the 
childlike pleasure he took in making me look out for 
Vesuvius on one side of the carriage while he looked out 
on the other, in case we might miss the first possible 
glimpse of it. 

" There it is ! Come over here. Do you sec it ? 
And it's smoking ! Do you see the Observatory ? I'm 
so glad it is smoking. I hope we shall see the glow after 

Vesuvius was far better than the view from the 
Capitol. And after dark we did see the glow. We 
went out into a piazza where there was a statue of 
Vittorio Emanuele and watched the red-hot lava, until 
presently, a$ we turned to go back to the hotel, he said : 

"But it's nothing to Etna. It's a mere pocket 
volcano compared with Etna. Why, Etna is nearly 
11,000 feet high and this trumpery little thing is only 
about 4000. You wait till we get to Reggio." 

We had three or four days in Naples to see the usual 
sights and the house in which he had lodged in 1843, 
and left the city by driving to Pompeii. Here we went 
over the ruins, and the same day went, part of the way 

xxxy ETNA 243 

by carriage and the rest of the way on horseback, up 1896 
Vesuvius to a place near the Observatory where was the ^^' ^ 
eruption of which we had seen the glow from Naples. 
The view over the sea with the islands in the sunset was 
magnificent and after dark we walked about near the 
red-hot lava, and brought away two bits of it into which 
pennies had been imbedded by the guide who carefully 
piloted Butler about, and addressed him as ** PapL" We 
returned very tired and with our boots full of lava dust 
to Pompeii, where we slept. 

Next day we went to Salerno and made an excursion 
to Paestum to see the Temple of Neptune. I was not 
told that there was anything finer than this ; on the 
contrary, it seemed impossible that there could be any- 
thing more imposing ; nor could we, by imaginary 
alterations in its lines or proportions, think of any change 
that would not spoil it. And we agreed that there 
was no force in the objection that it ought to have been 
built of marble, as the Greek temples were, instead of 
stone. This objection, we thought, touched it no more 
than an objection to a performance of the Messiah that 
the singers were not of^ royal descent would touch that 

We went by train along the coast down to Reggio 
and saw Etna at last. It was as faultless as the Temple 
of Neptune. We crossed to Messina and went to Aci 
Reale, where he introduced me to Mario Puglisi Pico. 
Then we went to Siracusa and had an interesting conver- 
sation at the Museum with Dr. Paolo Orsi about the 
antiquities of the island {The Authoress^ pp. 185-6). On 
our return to Catania we made an excursion for the day 
to Taormina and tried to find the . remains of Naxos 
about which Orsi had told us ; but on this occasion we 
failed to identify them. We saw Taormina, however, 
and understood why it is so much extolled. 

We then went through the island to Palermo, and he 
introduced me to Peppino Pagoto who was studying at 
the University. From Palermo we went to Calatafimi, 
where Ingroja received us. He hired horses and with 
Givaliere Adamo we went to Segesta, where we spent the 

246 MILK 


1896 Odyssey x. 82-86. 

^*^ ^ {From " The Odyssey Rendered into English Prose " iy S. Butler) 

Telepylus the city of the Laestrygonians, where the shepherd 
who is driving in his sheep and goats [to be milked] salutes him 
who is driving out his flock [to feed after having been milked] 
and this last answers the salute. In that country a man who 
could do without sleep might earn double wages, one as a herds- 
man of cattle and another as a shepherd, for they work much the 
same by night as they do by day. 

This is the prehistoric joke about the Laestrygonian 
mat! who could earn double wages if he could do without 
sleep, referred to by Butler in his letter to me of 30th 
August 1892 (ante, p. 146). We were told that the 
goats were driveti into Cefald to be milked from 6 till 8 
in the morning and again from 5 till 7 in the evening ; 
and this was the only town known to our informant 
where they were so driven and milked, and where fresh 
milk could be obtained twice a day, and therefore the 
only town where a sleepless man could earn double wages. 
In most Sicilian towns there was, in 1896, no evening 
supply ; you had to take your milk when the goats 
passed in the morning or wait till to-ihorrow. No doubt, 
as Butler says in The Authoress^ fresh milk could have 
been obtained in the evening in Palermo, Messina, or 
Catania, but it would not have been the usual thing. 
Even in Rome our landlord told us that it would be an 
exceptional thing for the goats to come to be milked 
in the evening. 

We left Sicily by crossing in the boat from Messina 
to Reggio and then went by train to Salerno whence we 
made an excursion to Paestum and spent another "day 
with the Temple of Neptune." Then we went through 
Rome and Pisa to Genoa, where we separated, I going to 
Nice to see my mother, and Butler, after calling at Casale- 
Monferrato, going to Lucerne to meet Alfred. For, 
notwithstanding the commutation of Alfred's Whitsuntide 
outings, and notwithstanding the wife and children, it 
was felt that he ought to be able to say that he had been 
in Italy — or rather that Butler ought to be able to say it 


for him. So Alfred travelled all by himself and with no 1896 
adventures to Lucerne, where he met Butler, who took ^^^ ^^ 
him through the S. Gottardo to Lugano, Porlezza, 
S. Salvatore, Luino, Locarno, back to Lucerne, up the 
BOrgenstock and home via Basel. 

Bugler to Hans Faesch. 

30 June 1896 — I have to start for Shrewsbury to the annual 
speech festivities and I know I shall have no chance of writing . 
before Friday unless I do so now. Gogin is painting my portrait ! I 
and is doing it very well. I went dowrt to Shoreham and sat to • ) 
him Saturday and Sunday and I shall have to go several times ' 
more. He is to paint Jones and he talks of painting himself. [ 
I have finished ' Wy £15^ of Dr. Butler and have corrected the ^ 
index so that I have nothing whatever to do more. Now I have 
about three or four months' work at the [translations of the] 
Iliad and Odyssey and then these also will be ready for press, so 
now I am able to get to the music for Ulysses and am at work 
upon a chtmis for ifwhidr^Mind very^ dfflcult. I wish I had 
not to go to Shrewsbury ; I am always happier at home and at 
the British Museum than anywhere else. Here we are full of 
Dr. Jameson's trial, the wreck of the Drummond Castle^ the all- 
night sitting of the House of Commons, and all the usual things. 

Gogin's portrait of Butler is now in the National 
Portrait tSal te r y: A reproduction of it, made by our 
friend' Mr. Emery Walker, is at the opening of this 
chapter.' Tears after tlie picture was 'painted' Gogin 
wrote fo me about it : . ^ ^ ^- 

m M^ * 


/ Charles Gogin to H. F. Jones. 

_ ^ 


19 Feb. 191 o — ^^How time flies ! I can hardly believe it is nearly 
fourteen vears since Butler's portrait was painted at Shoreham. 
How well I remember the hot smnmcr^md the weekly (and' 1 am 
afraid also weakly) struggling in the morning with S. B. to get 
him to save up his complexion for the afternoon sitting. But no, 
he must take his walk, and for that he chose the beach I At all 
times his face was not pale ; still it was very paintable. How- 
ever, there he was, impossible to be copied, a flaming deep red ; 
and there was nothing for it but to ^* cook " the colour to any 

rW«^R^Ml^^^V^BV»9* • »■ ■ ^ ■ ■■ ■ PIP 


Hans Faesch to Butler. 

1S96 10 July 1896 — I do about the same as we used to do in 

Aet. 60 England, only it all goes by boat and with a gun ; without, it 

would not do. I also have cucumbers and onions and we eat 

with Chinese sticks ; this is very difficult in the beginning but 

very handy if anybody is used to it. 

By this time Hans had moved from Singapore to 
Saigon. He called his boat the Samuel Butler and had 
a Swiss flag. There are, of course, many letters from 
him, but they contain little that bears upon Butler's life. 
The onions were pickled onions and we found them 
refreshing when getting our lunch on our Sunday walks. 
Butler used to recommend every one to take them when 
going on a picnic. 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

31 July 1896 — Never mind about De Galembert's being 
a Roman Catholic if he is a good fellow otherwise. It is a great 
thing that you should have anyone at all whom you can make a 
friend of. I hate all that rubbish, whether Catholic or Protestant, 
more and more the older I grow and, so far from becoming 
indifferent to it, the sense of the harm it does in a thousand ways 
and of its utter unworthiness impresses me more and more con- 
tinually. I loathe it. But, at the same time, I think we oppose 
it more effectually bv treating it with silent contempt than by 
arguing about it. In fact I am not sure that the best way of 
dealing with those who are on the other side is not to pretend to 
agree with them a little more than one really does rather than 
to argue with them. The more they see us anxious to get them 
to think as we do the more they will stick to their own opinion. 
It piques them far more and makes them far more uneasy \f we 
make them see that we do not care one straw what they think. 
This makes them suppose that we must feel strongly enough not 
to want their support and the more they think this the more of 
their support will they give us. It is always a sign of weakness 
— Gracious heavens ! how I am running on and telling you 
things you know already a hundred times better than I do. 
Forgive me and set it down to old age. 

I forgot to say that at the Shrewsbury speeches Jebb, Regius 
Professor of Greek at Cambridge, was there. He is supposed to 
be a great authority on Homer. I was at the high table, only 


two places off him. The headmaster in his speech called attention 1896 
to my presence and was highly complimentary about me, but Act. 60 
Jebb never opened his lips and this was, I do not doubt, intended 
as a sligfat; I AaH get over it. 


Bufkr to R. H. Eobart Oust. 

15 Aug. 1896— Your very kind letter of Aug. 6 from Milan 
only reached me yesterday, having gone from Trttbner's to 
Longman's before it was sent to my address. I thank you for it, 
and for the encouragement which it affords me. I may, however, 
take this opportunity of putting you on your guard against some 
of the many mistakes which have been found in Ex Voto^ and 
which I fear are never likely to be corrected in a second edition. 

1. I had a fine fit of admiration of the statues in the vaulting 
of the Paradiso chapel [at Crea] and ascribed them (as they were 
then generally ascribed) to Tabachetti. It is certain that he never 
did one of them, but that all are by the painter Moncalvo. 

This comes of going to such places in dull January foggy 
weather, alone, and under a preconceived idea ; on looking at the 
figures later I was a good deal ashamed of myself. 

2. Caccia's book, or rather pamphlet guide, published in 1586, 
of which there is a copy in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, describes 
what I took to be Tabachetti's chapel as then finished. I think 
anyone seeing the description and the actual chapel would think 
that the one was intended for the other \ other chapels are also 
described in Caccia which I did not doubt were those at present 
existing. Unfortunately last year the original contract with 
Tabachetti was discovered by my friend Cavaliere Negri at Casale 
and it is dated Ap. 1599, ^^^ ^^^ upsets my chronology very 

Cavaliere Negri and I are now quite agreed that instead of 
going fix>m Varallo to Crea, as has been hitherto believed, Taba- 
chetti went first to Crea about 1590 (where his brother Nicola 
Tabachetti also worked) and went thence to Varallo doing all his 
work there between 1598 and the year of his death, which Cav. 
Negri has ascertained to be 161 5. He probably died at Varallo. 

Caccia did what I have since found done even to a greater 
extent in later guid&-books : as soon as he knew that it was 
intended to make a chapel he described it as made. In some 
guide-books to the Sacro Monte of Varallo which may be seen in 
the Biblioteca Nazionale at the Brera, illustrations are given of 
chapels which are described as made, but which to this day have 
never been even begun. 

All my pretty argument, therefore, about the Saas chapels 
falls to pieces, so far as the support I claimed from ascertainable 


1896 chronology is concerned. Still there is an influence of Tabachetti 
A€t. 60 about those chapels which requires explaining. If you have not 
seen them you might care to do $0. They are very rough, rude, 
and common in execution ; but, as I have said ekewhere, Taba- 
chetd's work at Varallo seems to have been present to the mind 
of the designer, while no other work at Varallo is in evidence. 

Did you ever see a work of a very different kind in the church 
of Sta. Anna at diss near Brieg 7 A recumbent figure in wood, 
stained, with much accessory work dated i5i7ori5i9or there- 
abouts. If you have not, it will be worth your while to do so on 
the hext opportunity that presents itself. 

About six months later, early in 1897, Butler wrote 
another letter, similar to the foregoing, pointing out the 
mistakes in Ex Voto to the Rev. F. C. Fisher of Gains- 
borough who had written to borrow photographs of the 
statues on the Sacro Monte at Varallo which he wanted to 
illustrate a lecture he was proposing to give. In thank- 
ing Butler for his letter Mr. Fisher admired ** the readi- 
ness (not common in authors) with which you not only 
acknowledge such errors as you could scarcely avoid 
making in your very interesting book, but even announce 
them gratuitously to strangers. ' 

Butler had given a copy of Narcissus to Ingroja, who 
was to get some musical friends to go through it. 
Ingroja had studied English and wrote : 

Cavaliere Biagio Ingroja to Butler. 


13 Sep, 1896 — The musical whole evening in your honour 

'. was solemnised at Palermo at house of my dear friend the Com- 

: mendatore Professor Sirena. The Narcissus was plaied on violin 

\ and piano and the elect auditory did like it very much, and 

I unanimously judged it a very pretty musical work in sweet 

'; pastoral style, suited to the subject, and overfull with wealthy and 

' learned harmony. 

We went to Wassen again this autumn and sketched 
there and up the Meien Valley. On our way home we 
stayed in Basel and saw the Faesch family, including 
Hans*s younger brother, Remi (Remigius). Butler wrote 
to Hans about him saying how much we liked him ; the 
opening of the next letter is about Remi. 

xxxY S. FIRMIN 251 

Butler to Hans Faesch. 

22 Sip. 1896— We are delighted with him and feel sure that 1896 
he will do well. No, I don't agree with you. I do not want Act 60 
him to have more of the teaching of adversity than can be helped. 
Of course adversity has sonu teaching, but it is a clumsy round- 
about way of arriving at a result that can be got bietter by 
I>rosperity. However, as adversity is sure to come sooner or later, 
et us hope that it may do him an awful lot of good when it does 
come. Anyhow we are very much pleased with him and the 
sooner he comes to London the better we shall like it. 

Then we went on to Amiens to see the cathedral there, but I 
did not much like it. There are some lovely painted sculptures 
round the choir. It seems S. Firmin (I think that was his name) 
came to convert the people of Amiens, and Faustinien, the pagan 
governor, comes to the gate of the town to receive him with great 
pomp, and the saint converts him. In the next group we see all 
Amiens taking off its clothes and coming to be &ptised. Then 
the good Christian governor, Faustinien, seems to be replaced by 
a terribly wicked wretch who puts S. Firmin into prison, and 
finally they cut off his head. And so things seem to have jogged 
on for a good many years till a certain S. Salve discovers that 
Amiens can never become really good and happy till they have 
found the body of S. Firmin. He accordingly prays God to tell 
them where it is lying, for no one had put up any tombstone \ 
and one day, as S. Salve was performing mass, God sent a star 
which conducted the saint to the place where the body lay. 
Then they dug it up, and it is quite fresh and has all its bishop's 
robes on as though it had just come from the wash — and it does 
heal such a lot of people. 

Here we are all full of the dynamite conspiracy, Constanti- 
nople, and the Soudan. It will take wiser heads than ours to say 
how it is all going to end, but I never remember to have seen 
things look so threatening since the Crimean War and the Indian 

Among Butler's papers I find a note that Mr. Fisher 
Unwin called upon him at the beginning of October 1896 
and, in the course of conversation, asked him what he was 
doing. *^ I said I had my book about the Iliad and the 
Odyssey to do first, but that, when that was done, I had 
often thought of writing Erewhon Revisit ed'' Nothing 
turns upon this interview and note, but it is interesting as 
being the first mention I have found of a definite intention 
to write a sequel to Erewhon. 


1896 On the 2nd October we received the first copy of The 

Act. 60 ^^^ ^^^ Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler, Head-Master of 

Shrewsbury School, f/gS-iSjd, and afterwards Bishop of 

Lichfieldy in so far as they illustrate the Scholastic^ Religious, 

and Social Life of England, lyoo-iS^o. 

The writing of Dr. Butler s Life involved much corre- 
spondence and many visits to Shrewsbury, Eton, Harrow, 
Rugby and many other places to see surviving pupils of 
Dr. Butler, old people of Shrewsbury who remembered 
the headmaster, and relatives of the family and of the 
families of pupils and friends. Butler took a pleasure in 
giving his grandfather's letters and papers to those who 
were interested in possessing them. He gave some to the 
Schools at Shrewsbury, some to St. John's G:)llege, Cam- 
bridge, some to Rugby School, some to the Vaughan 
Library at Harrow, some to friends who specially cared to 
have them, and all that were over to the British Museum. 
And in 1897 he gave the MS. of his book to the Shrews- 
bury Free Library. 

The points that interested him particularly in the Life 
were the correspondence with Baron Merian, the letters of 
Tillbrook, Dr. Butler's Aeschylus, and the two extraordi- 
nary stories of The Fortunate Youth and The Mystery 
of Owen Parfitt. Beyond all these, however, he was 
interested in the character of Dr. Butler and the strained 
and, one would have thought, impossible relations that for 
thirty-seven years subsisted between him and his second 
master, Jeudwine, as to which something has already been 
said (ante, L p. 9). Let me here quote from the Life 
(L 42) a sentence referring to Jeudwine : 

Even though Dr. Buder had not changed the face of public 
school education from one end of England to the other ; though 
he had never created a great school and turned out a brilliant band 
of scholars, the foremost of whom, no doubt, in some respects 
surpassed himself ; even though he had done nothing but command 
his temper so admirably for so many years, I should still have 
thought no pains I could bestow upon his memory so great as that 
memory deserved. 

The Rev. S. Tillbrook, whose letters are among the best 
in the book, married late, and his daughter was a posthumous 



child. She married Thomas Frederic Inman, a solicitor of 1S96 
Bath. Mrs. Inman saw Butler's book and got into com- ^^ ^ 
munication with him through Mr. Murray. Soon after this 
I was staying at Bath with my friend, Dr. King Martyn, 
and found that he knew Mr. and Mrs. Inman. Butler 
came down to Bath from Saturday \o Monday while I was 
there, and Dr. Martyn took us to call on them. Although 
her father was a contemporary of Dr. Butler, Mrs. Inman 
was not many years older than Butler, and was much 
affected to see and speak with one who, if he had not 
and could not have known Mr. Tillbrook, was nevertheless 
femUiar with his character from his letters. 

After Mrs. Inman's death, her son, Mr. Arnold 
Inman, lent me two letters written by Dr. Butler to Mr. 
Tillbrook which are here reproduced. The reader should 
be reminded that both Dr. Butler and Mr. Tillbrook were 
devoted to fishing. The first has no postmark. Ap- 
parently it was sent by hand. Dr. Butler being at Lowood 
"in this neighbourhood." 



The Rev. S. Tillbrook, 

W. Wordsworth's Esq., 

Rydal Head. 

Come Bacchus Water-hater 

Thou Jack-ass * Piscator 

Bring bottle and glass And poacher at times 

We're on gallop Jack-catcher 

To Salop And snatcher 

Self, wife, lad and lass. Of comical rhymes — 

Trout-killer Come sidle 

Maw-iiller From Rydal 

Old Isaac's old son At Lowood to stay 

Mutton-eater This night 

Escheator We invite 

Of stray Joke and pun — Lest we go the next day. 

Tuisday 24 Jufyy 1 82 1. S. B. 

1 Used not as a term of reproach bnt endearment. Vide " P-t-r B-11." Great 
poetical indulgences are allowed in this neighbourhood. [Note by Dr. Butler.] 



1896 [Postmark] Shrewsbury. 7 Se 7. 18 16. 1630. 

[Address] The Rev. S. Tillbrook, 

Rydal. Ambleside. Westmoreland. 

Poet, pike-fisher, hrmtr^ lakist, quixote or by whatever 
polyonymia you be invoked, tell me only one thing ; did you 
receive my answer to your letter ? 

If you are too proud, too lazy, too sulky, too busy 
Like a poet with a nne phrensy rolling in his eye. 
Like a pike- fisher with his rod, like a &rmer with his plough. 
Like a lakist in his boat, or like quixote I can't tell how ; 
If you're proud that you're a landholder and own Ivy cottage, 
If you're lazy and in consequence are driv'ling into dotage. 
If you're sulky because you're an old bachelor and fusty. 
If you're busy and so my letter makes you, crusty 

Reply — reply — ^reply — reply — 
Or I won't keep the vacancy. 

The above, which, with the exception of one blot upon the 
word ^ makes," is, or rather at the time I made it was, an extem- 
pore dithyrambic is to provi to you that *' anch' io son poeta." 

Now I have told you enough for your dyxivoia and so^ lest I 
should be too agreeable, I here end my evocation and invocation. — 
Yours truly, S. B. 

Shuwsburt, Sipt, 7. 1S16. 

I think Butler would have given these two letters in 
the Life of his grandfather if he had known of their 
existence. In Ex Voio (p. 34) he gives some rhyming 
entries from the visitors* book of one of the inns at 
Varallo and adds : 

It is a pity the art of writing such pleasing little poems should 
be now so generally neglected m favour of more ambitious com- 
positions. Whatever brevity may be as regards wit, it is certainly 
the soul of all agreeable poetry. 

This, of course, was written before he made his dis- 
coveries about the authoress of the Odyssey^ a poem which 
cannot be called brief. Readers will remember that in 
The Way of All Flesh (chap, xliv.) there is a stanza which 
was composed by one of Ernest's schoolfellows : 


The dogs of the monks of St. Bernard go 1896 

To pick little children out of the snow, Act. 60 

And round their necks is the cordial gin 
Tied with t little bit of bol>-bm. 

The last line has to be read with the stress on the 
*^of" ; Ernest did not quite like it and tried to mend it, 
but couldn't. Butler found among his grandfather's 
papers another stanza which wanted no mending : 

The wicked, lurking robber, when 
The harmless traveller passes his den, 
Lays hold of him fast by the tail of his coat 
And robs his money and cuts his throat. 

We know that the stanza about the St. Bernard dogs 
was turned into Alcaics at Roughborough (ante, p. 156), 
otherwise it might have perished. It is possible that the 
other owed its preservation to its having also been the 
subject of translation. The ballad of ** Wednesbury 
G>cking " would not have been dug up again if Garnett 
had not wanted to get hold of the poem in Greek 
hexameters (ante, I. 348). And thus we see how he who 
cultivates the classics may become vates sacer to him who 
throws off fugitive verses. 

Butler received many letters about his book, all very 
flattering. He was best pleased with those that showed 
sympathy with Dr. Butler and made him feel that he had 
succeeded in rescuing his grandfather from oblivion, and in 
restoring him to something like his proper place in the 
history of public-school education. Among those who 
wrote were Dr. Mandell Creighton, Mr. Garnett, and 
Professor J. E. B. Mayor. Lord Grimthorpe not only 
wrote, he ^so made notes and sent them to Butler to be 
used in a second edition, and invited him to come to tea 
and talk them over. Butler went and they spent the after- 
noon together and often saw each other afterwards. They 
had met forty-five years before when Butler was a boy of 
fifteen and Lord Grimthorpe was on a visit to the vicar of 
Meole Brace, near Shrewsbury. Lord Grimthorpe was so 
particularly interested partly because he had himself in 1 868 
published the life of his father-in-law, John Lonsdale (1777- 
1867), who was consecrated Bishop of Lichfield in 1843. 

nv i j> J. iiJ 1 1 i^e^^i^m^v^nPiHiSHi 


Butler to Hans Faesch. 

1S96 23 Oct. 1896 — I think I may sav that it [Th Life and 

Act. 60 Litters of Dr. Butler^ has been very well received in the quarters 
where I can alone expect people to be interested in the book at 
all. It is addressed chiefly to headmasters of public schools, 
fellows of colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and the academic 
world in general. We are all very much gratified by the reception 
the book has met with. 

This evening I shall finish my final revision of the Iliad 
which will then be ready for the press at any moment. Tones 
is reading it and seems to like it very much. I have still got 
twelve books of the Odyssey to revise, but this will not be a long 
job. Then will come the difficult part — I mean the getting a 
publisher to take the book. 

Butler to Remi Faesch. 

15 Nov. 1896 — And now to answer your question as to 
how I spend my day. I get up about 7 and immediately, in my 
night-shirt, go into my sitting-room and light .my fire. I put 
the kettle on and set some dry sticks under it so that it soon 
heats enough to give me warm water for my bath. At 8 I 
make my tea and cook my breakfast— -eggs and bacon, sausages, 
a chop, a bit of fish or whatever it may be, and by 8.30 I have 
done my breakfast and cleared it all away. 

Then I read the Times newspaper which takes me about 
40-45 minutes. At 9.15 I do whatever little bit of work I can 
till Alfred comes at 9.30 and tells me all about the babies and 
whatever else interests him. We arrange what he is to do for 
the morning and I get away to the British Museum as quickly 
as I can ; 1 am there alwajrs about 10. 15- 10.30, according as I 
have any marketing to do or no. 

I work at the Museum till i, still at my Homer which is 
done now, all but about eight days' work. Then I go out and 
dine either at home or at a restaurant, but I never have more 
than one plate of meat and vegetables and no soup or sweets. I 
find the less I eat the better for me.' Alfred and I generally 
waste half an hour or so till about 2.30 or 3, settling this, that, 
or the other. 

From 3 till 5 or 5.30 I write letters or work at home while 
Alfred typewrites for me, either my Homer or notes for my 
commonplace book or whatever it may be, and at 4 we always 
have a cup of tea together. 

At 5.30 I have my real tea which consists generally of a bit 


of fish and bread and butter and after that I may smoke. I may ig^ 
smoke after 4, if anyone comes or if I have to go calling any* A«t. 60 
where, but never otherwise. 

From 6--8 I am alone and quiet, and at present I still go on 
with my Homer, but in a little while I hope to be able to get to 
my music again and finish my very difficult chorus which I 
have long put on one side while completing my Homer. The 
words are : 

"Now letyour trumpets pointing heavenward blow 
Till Jove the mighty music hears 
And, hughing, bends his head to see 
How that which was still is and still shall be, 
How right triumphant in the end appears, 
How Time's avenging hand 
Descends at angry heaven's command^ 
And baffled might lies low." 

This winds up the oratorio after Ulysses has killed the 

Very well. At 8 I almost alwajrs go to Jones's, unless he 
comes to me; or we go out to a concert or theatre together, 
unless either of us has to go out to dinner. At 9.30 I leave him, 
come home, have some bread and milk, play two games of 
patience, smoke a cigarette and go to bed about 11. In bed I 
always read a scene or two of one of Shakespeare's plays till I find 
myself dropping ofF to sleep and then good-night. 

There 1 that is my normal day ; but on Sundays and 
Thursdays I go out for the day, and before I go I fill the coal- 
scuttle and fetch up water and trim and fill the lamp, etc., 
because my laundress, the eood old woman who makes my bed 
and cooks for me when I am dining at home, will not have 
Alfred to help her. Jones goes out with me on Sundays and 
Alfred comes with me on Thursdays ; on Sundays he [Alfred] 
does not come at all [to Clifford's Inn]. 

Then there are also exceptions when I have to go and waste 
my afternoon payine calls ; but my normal day is pretty much 
the same always, and I assure you it is a very happy one. Alfred 
is to me half son, half nurse, always very dear friend and play* 
mate rather than work-fellow — in fact he is and has been for the 
last ten years my right-hand ; while in Jones I have a friend the 
like of whom I shall never see again if anything were to happen 
to him — ^which Heaven avert. 

Now I think I have answered your question, you dear, good 
fellow so fully that you shall not be able to say that I am " ferm ** 
any longer. 



260 THE SICANS xxx^ 

1896 of the Iliad and Odyssey at his own risk. He says he has felt 
Aet. 61 the pulse of the booksellers and they do not think the public . 
would buy them ; so, having got them ready for press, I have 
tied them up in a parcel and am just beginning a popular book 
about the Iliad and the Odyssey generally. Murray thinks that 
if I do this I shall have a better chance with my translations. 

To-day Alfred and I have been for a walk from Harrow to 
Wembley and Kingsbury. We always go out on a Thursday 
but it was very cold and foggy with a thick white frost hanging 
from the trees and all over the grass. The lies I have to tell 
now to get even three or four new-laid eggs are something awful 
and then I have to pay twopence apiece for them. I shall be so 
glad when the shortest day is over. 

You will have seen all about the [Brighton] chain pier's 
tumbling down. Was it not spiteful of it to immediately go and 
attack the other pier and break it in two with the wreckage 
which it sent against it ? And then they say that the inorganic 
world has no intelligence ! You will also see in the papers all 
about the earthquake. We felt nothing of it in London, though 
it seems it was felt by some few. It seems to have been worst 
in the Midland counties. 

Buder to S. H. Burbury, F.R.S. 

Dec. 20thy 1896 — I quite admit the force of your argument 
that a writer will not make his work flatly contradict the ex- 
perience of his hearers, but I do not think the introduction of 
Cyclopes and Laestrygonians into Sicily does this. 

According to my view, which I l^e entirely on Thuc. vi. 2 
as the most reliable source I can get, there were, say about 
B.C. 1000, several races on the Lilyboean promontory, or rather 
on Mt. Eryx and its neighbourhood. 

There were the Sicans, who had been there from time 
immemorial and who seem to have been at one time the main 
possessors of the island. 

Before them, according to the same writer, the Cyclopes and 
the Laestrygonians were a still earlier race; but Thu^dides 
says he can tell nothing about them and regards the Sicans, 
who he tells us came originally from Spain, as the earliest historic 

Now, according to me, the Cyclopes and Laestrygonians are 
none other than the Sicans themselves to whom the writer of the 
Odyssey gave these names ; and the reason why Thuc. could say 
nothing about them is because they never existed except in a 
work of fiction. 

I imagine the writer of the Odyssey to have belonged to the 



Asiatic colonists who migrated to this part of Sicily from the 1S96 
Troad and were joined by certain Phocaeans {not Phocians) see -^.d. 61 
pp. 5, 6 of my second Italian pamphlet.^ The writer of the 
Odyssiy belonged to this Phocaean body, who, no doubt, brought 
the Iliad with them. She hates her own countrymen, the 
episode of Proteus being, I do not doubt, introducea soldy to 
insult them : 

Tcijpc yoi/> atvals 
^MKOMv^ aXunp€<f>itov okouraroi oSfArj, 

Od. iv. 441-443- 

This must be connected with Od. vi. 275, etc where 
Nausicaa describes how her countrymen blamed her for turning 
up her nose at them and not marrying one of them. 

This last may be too speculative— cut it out, then, and let 
me begin again. The writer according to me belonged to this 
Phocaean body, and she has peopled her own neighbourhood 
mainly with the ordinary men and women whom we meet with 
in Scheria and Ithaca ; over and above these, however, there were 
the remnant of the old Sicans who had been routed in the time 
of Nausicaa's great-grandfather {Od, vii. 56, etc.) and who were 
called Giants on account of the gigantic stones with which their 
waUs were built — ^stones which still remain in situ both at £ryx 
and at Cefalji : see illustration in my second Italian pamphlet. 

The dislike between the two races, the Asiatic and Sican, 
was very great. It still exists. The people on the top of Mt. 
Eryx and the people of Trapani hate one another, hence the 
poetess introduces them as savage monsters. 

Pray ask Mr. Powers to give me back my pamphlets unless 
he really wants them. If he wants them for serious study by 
all means let him keep them. 

I am afraid , I have not made myself very clear, but will 
endeavour to be clearer in the book which I am about writing. 

Butler to S. H. Burbury, F.R.S. 

Dec. 22, 1896. — If you were not confined to the house with a 
cold, which I am sorry to learn has not left you, I should hardly 

^ The Italian pamphlets referred to in these letters to Burbury are enumerated in 
the Bibliography printed at the beginning of this Memoir. The substance of them was 
incorporated in Tht Authoress of the Odyssey, 

' Under <f>(aKdupf which is the word in the text, Butler has written in square 
brackets ^KtjvF. Cf. The Authoress^ pp. 219-2 20. 



1896 venture to trouble you further with my speculations ; as it ts» 
Aet. 61 however, I will chance one more letter before I start for my Xmas 
outing to-morrow. 

You say, ^^ I do not see that any of the nautical prodigies . . . 
necessarily took place in or near Sicily except the Cattle of 
the Sun." 

I will not argue this point, but should wish to place on record 
that I differ from you in toto. If I did not iind myself in- 
exorably driven to conclude : i. that the Odyssey deals invariably 
with actual places ; and 2. that those places are on the coast, or 
on islands adjacent to the coast of Sicily, I should never have 
ventured to say what I have said. Havmg turned the question 
over and over in my mind and attempted many a different answer to 
it, I have found myself easily beaten off from all others, while the 
answer that I have settled down to gives me satisfaction — ^rightly 
or wrongly — ^and quiets me. I say this in spite of the profound 
respect I have alike for your scholarship and acumen, but I should 
not venture to do so if I had not focussed my attention on the 
Odyssey for the last six years in a way that I question whether any- 
one else has had the leisure or inclination to do. 

You say that ^ all the story from Circe's island onwards ** 
seems to you to be '^ a yarn spun by some old salt to the writer of 
the Odyssey*^ I agree with you so far as this, that the writer TOt 
her information about everything beyond the island of Aeolus 
(which in clear weather is visible from Mt. £ryx) to the Cattle of 
the Sun from Trapanese sailors ; and as regards the Wandering 
Rocks her information is obviously missing. Twice does she 
scuttle over them in a way that madkes it clear that she does not 
know where to place them. Pantellaria, which I make the island 
of Calypso—guided thereto by the sailing instructions given by 
Calypso to Ulysses — ^is also sometimes, though rarely, visible 
from Mt. Eryx. But I differ from you inasmuch as I am con- 
vinced that the writer went to the sailors for definite information 
about certain points which she meant to introduce, instead of 
merely taking sailors' stories told to her at random. But I will 
not argue this point either. 

That there was an element of burlesque about the inception of 
the poem I do not doubt, and have insisted on it somewhat fully 
in my [pamphlet on the] Trapanese Origin (preface p. 18) but 
this had dropped off by the end of Bk. viii. and in the voyages of 
Ulysses I think she is only piling it on. 

I am sure you will not press vXior^ {Od, x. 3) to be a 
moveable island — any more than you would the Bo^w of xv. 299. 
nXciyr^ only means an island that seems to float upon the waters. 
It does not move or appear to do so during the month Ulysses 
stayed there — ^nor yet during his voyage to Ithaca and back. 


And now for your two questions. You ask me how I 1896 
explain [x. 86] cyyvs yap wkt6s re jcai rjfJMT^s etcrt iccAevdot (I ^^' ^* 
got the accents out of the book) — I translate : " For the wavs 
of the night and of the day are near to one another " and I take 
the passage to mean simply that the people in that place work 
much the same by night as they do by day — a piling-it-on way of 
saying '' they are very hard-working people." 

The dvTokal 'HcAtbto [xii. 4] (accents from the book), I take 
to mean simply this : ^' We left the dark sunless land of the 
Cimmerians and the regions of the dead and returned to places 
where there is dawn and sunrise as in other places." 

There ! Liberavi animam meam. I am just beginning my 
book in which I deal fully with all these matters and your letters 
have been of great use to me as showing me the sort of objection 
that I shall have to meet. 

All in my mind turns on the question whether both Scheria 
and Ithaca can be so identified with Trapani as to leave no 
reasonable doubt that the writer was drawing both places from 
Trapani and its immediate neighbourhood. If I fail here I fail 
altogether, but it seems to me that the amount of evidence I can 
adduce is conclusive. 


1897 — Part I 

1897 The "popular book about the //iW and the Odyssey 
Act. 61 generally," referred to in Butler's letter to Hans Faesch of 
17th December 1896, was Butler's chief occupation now, 
and appeared as The Authoress of the Odyssey later in the 
year. He wrote to Hans, 14th January 1897, ^^* ^^ 
had begun it and also that Queen Elizabeth at Harrow 
Weald was dead, " I got 9 new-laid eggs to-day without 
having to tell a single lie. The hens are beginning to lay 
again. ' 

In March 1897, Butler received from Mr. W. E. 
Heitland of St. John's College, Cambridge, who had been 
at school at Shrewsbury and remembered Butler's aunt, 
Mrs. Lloyd at the Whitehall, two or three copies of The 
Eagle containing a review by him of The Life and Letters 
of Dr. Samuel Butler. 

Butler to Mr. W. E. Heitland. 

19 March 1897 — ^ received your very kind present and letter 
last night and thank you very cordially for the review of my 
book, which I may say quite truly is the most gratifying that any 
book of mine has yet met with, if for no other reason yet for 
this, that it convinces me I have done that which it was my most 
earnest desire to Ao—i.e. show Dr. Butler in his true colours and 
attract my readers to him as he assuredly — and his friends — 
attracted me to himself. 

Take old Lord Grimthorpe who is not a very easv man to 
please — he said to me the other day ; 



xxxvi PAGET'S BOOK 265 

"What made you set about that book ? " 1897 

I answered that I had found the character £i8cinate me. To -^ct 6x 
which he replied : 

"Well, to say the truth so it did me.** 

If such men as yourself, Professor Mayor, Lord Grimthorpe, 
John Murray, and others are as much attracted to the character 
as I cannot doubt they are, what .more can I desire ? 

I found very few family letters. . • . But there are a few 
letters to his mother and to his uncle, Samuel Butler, which 
reflect the highest credit upon him. It was these last, written I 
think about 1806, which brought me to his feet in the first 
instance, for, until his correspondence fell into my hands, I had a 
decided prejudice, how or whence derived I know not, as though 
he had been a man of the Kennedy stamp^ only that if Kennedy 
were whips Dr. Butler had been scorpions. I trust, however, 
that his shade will forgive me and consider my distrust of him 
atoned for. • . . My translations of the Iliad and Odyssey are 
long since completed, but I can get no publisher to take them. 
My book upon the Odyssey will, I hope, be finished in another 
three weeks or so and, come what may, I shall publish it. I 
really believe myself to have been duly cautious throughout my 
arguments. I wish poor old Dr. Butler were alive. He would 
have listened to what I have to say with some attention. How- 
ever we must wait and see. 

At this time Butler was corresponding with the Rev. 
J. Russell Jackson of Moulton Vicarage, Spalding, about 
an old scrap-book. They write of it as " Paget's book," 
and it was given to Mr. Jackson as a mark of friendship 
by Miss Paget. I gather that Jackson and Paget were 
both Shrewsbury boys, that Paget compiled the book, 
and that its contents related to the school. Jackson sent 
the book to Butler, who sent it to his friend Mr. Phillips, 
of Shrewsbury, who consulted with Dr. Calvert, one of 
the masters of the school, as to whether it should be 
given to the school or to the town or held back for the 

Butler to tin Rev. J. Russell Jackson. 

I April 1897 — I have put twp or three small notes, as that 
"S. B. Dec. 3, 1852** under one of the caricatures of Dr. 
K[ennedy] is the present writer. I have also briefly adnotated 
George's penal, out of which no one without explanation would 
be jble to make anything at all, and the sketch of the bedroom 


1S97 with "Measles" written under it. I thought it better to leave 
Aet. 6x no doubt that this was what the school beds were like before the 
change of buildings. 

I see in one of the steeplechases I bear the not very attractive 
name of "Backbiter." I have neither adnotated it nor yet 
felt the slightest inclination to suppress it. What can it 
matter ! . . . 

Pray remember me very kindly to your brother Fred when 
next you write to him. He was one of my boyish idols, and it 
seems to me that I showed more judgement in my choice than I 
have often shown since. However, we are all growing old, and for 
my own part I am happier in the dajrs of my white beard than 
ever I was when I had a black one. Mutatis mutandis, I trust 
that you feel the same and may long continue to do so. 

Butler to Mr. PhiU^s. 

13 April 1897 — I have both your letters of Ap. 10 and 11, 
and should have answered the second of them by this evening's 
post, but have been out for the day and returned too late to 
catch it. 

I cannot understand Dr. Calvert's objections — he tells me 
you have seen his letter to me or I would send it — but it would 
seem possible to obviate them by deferring the exhibition of the 
book for, say, ten or fifteen yeai^ a date which he has mentioned 
as possibly removing his objections. 

When people make omelettes they must break eegs, and some 
one or other is sure to find something he would rather see 
omitted in any record of any period, but history cannot be 
written on any other terms ; and, though serious matters that 
touch honour or character will be omitted, or handled as con- 
siderately as possible, by anyone of ordinary right feeling, 
reticence, like every other good quality, may be overdone, and I 
think in this case our good friend Dr. Calvert is inclined to 
overdo it. 

I, for instance, was not altogether pleased that Mr. Apperly 
should have placed it on record that Dr. Butler was of mean 
appearance, churlish in manner, and voted a snob by his more 
wealthy schoolfellows ; but though I did not like it, nor believe 
it, I did not think it well to exclude it. I am not pleased that 
Mr. Clodd, within the last month or two, should have called 
Dr. B. " a desiccated pedagogue " \ but I have not said anything 
to him about it. I was much shocked that Munro should have 
written that Dr. B. left the school in a very poor state as regards 
Greek scholarship, and that Kennedy should have held his peace ; 
but, after consultation with Mr. Moss, I passed it over, and I do 


not believe anyone would gather from my book virhat my real 1897 
opinion of Kennedy is. ^^ ^* 

Again, it is not particularly gratefiil to my feelings to be 
instrumental in the putting before the public a list in which I 
appear as ^ Backbiter " ; but I should not dream of objecting to 
Paget's book being put before the world at large on that account. 
If I thought there was anything which, say, Mr. Murray would 
consider likely to give reasonable and unnecessary pain in Paget's 
book, I should be with Dr. Calvert in a moment ; but I read it 
very carefully and the only doubt I had was whether it was worth 
any museum's while to kfeep, for, to speak plainly, the humour is 
of the thinnest. 

However, the book shall not go into the School Library if I 
can help it, and, if you think it worth putting into the Free 
Library, I should say keep it till I can come down and see the 
things which Dr. Calvert objects to; we may hit on some 

In the meantime I will write at once to Jackson, who is one 
of the very best men I know, or ever have known, and send 
him both your letters and Dr. Calvert's. He will, I daresav, 
write to you and perhaps take the matter into his own hands, 
which would be as weU, for the book is his, not mine. 

I was to have started to-morrow but am delayed by the 
untoward sharp but not serious illness of my friend Jones, who 
was to go with me. 

I think I told you I have left my book about the Odyssey in 
Mr. Murray's hands. I wonder what his reader will think 
about it. What a long letter I have written all about a very 
small matter I 

Butler to Dr. Calvert. 

15 April 1897 — I tried hard to answer your letter yesterday 
evening as well as our friend Mr. Phillips's, but was obliged to 
put it off, and now I have not got it by me, for I sent it to 
Jackson with Mr. Phillips's that he might know what you both 

I must confess I saw nothing that struck me as likely to give 
pain, nor, we may be sure, did Jackson, a man with all his 
brother's sterling qualities and more ability as well as vivacity. 
We know Mr. Phillips saw nothing — still you may have noted 
something that we have passed over and none of us, any more 
than yourself, would wish to wound anyone's feelings. Perhaps 
it is because I have so often for so many years seen myself so 
savagely handled — for some of my reviews have been as fierce 
as any that I have ever seen, and rarely indeed have I had any 

m^^a^ ■ .v^w^ 


1897 such friendly ones as several of my Life of Dr. Butler — perhaps it 
Aet. 61 is for this reason that, having become thick-skinned myself, I 
suppose that other people are or should be so also. But, however 
this may be, I have asked Jackson to take the matter into his 
own hands and communicate directly with yourself and Mr. 
Phillips. Should you wish to write to him his address is 

The Rev. J. R. Jackson, J.P., 

Moulton Vicarage, Spalding, 


He is rural dean of OfFen (I think) and has been for many years 
chairman of the County Sessions for the district in which he 
lives, but I know nothing about such matters. 

Mr. Paget was alive in the early part of 1862, for he wrote 
me about the death of the Prince Consort which occurred 14th 
December 1861, and this had happened at least a month, so far as I 
can remember, before he wrote to me. 

He died before August 1864, for in that year I returned 
from New Zealand, and I have a strong impression that he was 
then no longer living. However I will hunt it up on my return 
from Sicily. 

On 1 6th April Buder and I left London for Sicily. 
We stayed at the same places as the year before and also 
went to Girgenti. At Selinunte arc the ruins of the 
temples of Selinus, a city that flourished between circa 628 
and 409 B.C. Its name is supposed to have been derived 
from the Greek word for a kind of wild parsley, or wild 
celery, a leaf of which is figured on some of the coins 
of Selinus. The plant is believed to be identical with 
the Apium graveolens of botanists which now no longer 
grows actually at Selinunte, but Professor Sciascia, of 
Castelvetrano, procured some from a muddy little stream 
a few miles inland, and Butler established it iFrom seed in 
the garden of Lincoln's Inn Fields where he used to watch 
it coming up as he passed on his way from his rooms in 
Clifford's Inn to the British Museum. See his letter, 13th 
July 1901, and letters frbm Sir Geoi^e Bird wood and 
John Sargeant, 20th July 1901, in The Athenaeum. The 
two barristers at Ypres referred to in the first of the two 
following notes occur in The Note-Books of Samuel Butler^ 
19 1 2. 


The FpuR Frenchmen at Castelvetrano 1897 

Aet 61 
Last spring, Jones and I were at Castelvetrano partly to pay 

another visit to Selinunte, and partly to receive from Prof. Sciascia 

some specimens of the wild celery from which Selinunte derives 

its name. I wanted these for Hill of the Coin Room, British 

Museum, who wished me to send him a plant of it — ^neither of us 

knowing that it is ouite common in the South of England. 

At the table d hdte there were four Frenchmen, gentlemen 
and, seemingly, of the literary, professional, academic confraternity. 
One of these was at the head of the table, the three others were 
on one side, and Prof. Sciascia, Jones and myself on the opposite 
side. They would not deign to look at us. Th ey were just like 
the two bsLrristers whom Gogin and I met years ago zt Ypres, 
whose looks towards tis sstd: ^ If you so much as' ask us to pass 
the mustard we shall shoot you.*^ 

Of course we did not asK them to pass the mustard nor did we 
make any advance to them ; we talked among ourselves and they 
among themselves: But, later in the evening, there suddenly 
entered a little sunburnt boy, not four feet high, with a huge 
plant of celery, ever so much oigher than he was. He came into 
the room, snorting with childish trepidation, and I at once rose 
towards him to give him some coppers and take the celery. 
Sciascia saw what I was intending, flew towards me to stop my 
paying anything, and a friendlv fracas ensued while the little 
brown boy stood stock still, holding his great plant. 

The Frenchmen could not make it out, and I thought it 
incumbent upon me to explain briefly what it was all about. 
They mollified at once at the name or the British Museum and 
entered into conversation. What did I think of Freeman's Sicily ? 
• I said, doubtless in bad French, but that did not matter, that I 
did not like the book, and fired oflF a remark which I concocted 
once about Cuvier : 

^ Monsieur Freeman est grand dans les petites choses et petit 
avec les grandes." I suppose they thought this was impromptu, 
but I could see that it impressed them. I added : ^ Besides if 
Mr. Freeman is right about the earliest history of Sicily, my own 
ideas concerning it are wrong.*' 

They asked what my ideas were. I told them that I believed • 
the Odyssey was written at Trapani, and added, laughingly, that I 
had a still worse heresy than this for I believed it to be written by 
a woman. 

They asked why. I replied that it was too long a story to 
go into in detail, but gave a few of my reasons. They seemed I 
puzzled but extremely interested. 

" And the Iliad ? Is that written by a woman ? " 


270 « CEST TR£S BIEN " xxxvi 

189; ^ Certainly not ; the same reasons which convince me that 

Aet 61 the Odyssey cannot have been written by a man prevent me from 
thinking that the Iliad was written by a woman." 

^ You have studied the subject carefully and for some time ? ^ 


" And what do English scholars say to your opinion ? '* 

" They laugh at it, and will not look at it ; j'ai tout le monde 

contre moi." 

^ Mais," at once replied the foremost of them, " mais c'est 
bien, c'est tr^ bien," and the others assented. 

Feeling that I could not close the discussion at a better point, 
I discovered that it was bed-time and the party broke up. 

Next morning they were just like the Ixuristers at Ypres of 
whom Gogin said that, repellent as they had been overnight, in 
the momiiig they perched on our fingers and pecked crumbs out 
of our handb. Neither of us made out' their names and Jooes, 
who watched the whole affair^ gr^^y atmused, said that I behaved 
quite properly all through. [1897.] 


Last spring, Jones and I, having left Palermo the night before, 
took a very early morning train from Termini to Campo Felice 
whence we went in the public conveyance up to CoUesano, Dr. 
Paolo Orsi, of Siracusa, having told us that there were some pre- 
historic remains there which we ought to see [^The Authoress^ 
p. 184]. 

When the omnibus started from Campo Fdice, we were out- 
side on a seat that ran across the vehicle just behind the driver 
who was one of the handsomest young men that I ever saw, aged 
about 19, lithe and quick as a cat and, I should say, as unreliable 
and not so clean. It was a lovely morning about the end of May ; 
the ride inland towards the mountains was through an enchanting 
country, innumerable goldfinches flitted about among the flowers 
by the road side, nothing could be more enjoyable, and the driver 
made friends with us at once and began to sing. He sang 
^' La vita h un dolor se tu m* abbandona." He certainly said 
'^ abbandona " ; he must have repeated the line two or three 
hundred times, always to the same wailing and semi-, or more 
than semi-barbarous melody. Every other minute, out it came at 
the top of his voice which, as Jones said, was choking with 
emotion and yesterday's garlic. He was like a half-tamed panther, 
an absolutely pagan creature but, as I have said, of the most extra- 
ordinary physical beauty which was nevertheless repellent, rather 
than attractive, by reason of its heartlessness. As for morals, I 
should not think he knew the meaning of the word. 


After he had chanted his refrain about la vita very many times, 1897 
I asked him if there was any second line. He said there was, but Aet. 61 
that he had not yet had time to study it ; he would do so and, if 
we came again, be would sing it to us ; for the present we must 
be contented with the one hne that he knew. Before long we 
began to unpack the provisions we had brought with us which, 
happily, were enough for three, for we had expected Peppino 
Pagoto who, however, had missed our train in which he ought to 
have come to Termini from Palermo. Our driver no sooner saw 
the provisions than he began to say that he must have some, and 
the moment he saw my horn drinking-cup he said that, if I chose, 
I was at liberty to make him a present of it. He had no more 
conscience or scruple than a magpie. Then he saw Jones's 
drinking-cup and said he would rather have that than mine and, 
it being plain that we should have no peace till we had given it to 
him, we let him have it ; but I had some work to make him give 
me back mine. He did not thank us for the cup nor yet for the 
hearty meal with which we stuffed him. He liked both cup and 
meal, but they were things of course and to be taken accordingly. 

The ride lasted between three and four hours and very lovely 
it was. About noon we reached CoUesano which must be, I 
should think, some 1700 ft. above the sea. Here we found a lad 
who said he knew where the old walls were and, accordingly, took 
us to the mediaeval castle which was not at all what we wanted. 
We therefore turned back and, seeing some signori seated at a 
table outside a place that looked like the circolo of the village, we 
went up to them, presented our cards and stated our business. I 
was surprised and pleased to find that no sooner had I given my 
card than I was asked if I was the Mr. Butler who had written 
about the Odyssey ; on admitting that this was so, we were treated 
with the greatest cordiality and our guide instructed where to 
take us. 

We returned about a kilometre on the road back to Campo 
Felice and then began to climb, the path presently losing itself 
and the climbing becoming steep and by no means easy for an 
elderly gentleman. After . about an hour we came upon the 
remains of buildings ; all were of stone and apparently built 
without mortar ; there were many of them, but little above the 
ground-plan was left standing though, in some cases, there was 
as much as a metre or a metre-and-a-half, so near as my recollec- 
tion will serve. It was very unpleasant ground to walk over. 
We saw no trace of a city wall ; all that remained were house 
walls. The highest building we saw was a Christian chapel in 
ruins — greatly later in date than the houses down below, built 
with mortar and showing the remains of a small apse at the East 
end. I cannot date these remains nor have any confidence in 


- --' *• » .--- . ^^:!'V^rH^v 'Sr5^1|P«WipWi 


1897 saying to what people they belong, but they appeared to me to 
Act 61 have been built before 1000 b,c. rather than since, to be probably 
Sican and, at any rate, not Phoenician. 

When we got down to Collesano^ the climb having taken us 
about three hours, Prof. Tamburello, one of the signori at the 
circolo, met us with a bottle of his best wine. We were 
honoured with a paragraph in the GiomaU di Sicilia for May 
27, 28, 1897, announcing our visit to CoUesano. [1897.] 

On our way back from Sicily we separated in North 
Italy, Butler going to Casale and afterwards to S. Pietro 
in the valley of Susa on the Mont Cenis route, where he 
sketched and occupied himself with the book which he 
had already begun to write upon Shakespeare's Sonnets. 
He returned via Bellinzona and Wassen, writing to me 
fi*om one of these places that he had met an Englishman : 

A Vert to Rome, such a fool, but he did to amuse me ; a 
wretched creature he was, pining for an ideal life and utterly 
unable to find anything that really came up to his standard of 
how things ought to be, etc. But he said one thing which I 
shall crib. He said : '^ Brigands demand your money or your 
life, but women demand both." He must have cribbed it from 
some one, so I shall crib it from him. 

When we separated I joined my mother and sisters 
at Geneva and went with them to Homburg. Before 
my return to London I received a letter from Alfred : 

Alfred to H. F. Jones. 

15 June 1897 — Now how are you? I hope quite well and 
strong enough to go through the terrible time of the Jubilee. 
We are in the midst of it now. Everybody and everything is 
Jubilee, in fact Jubilee mad. When do you come home ? Is 
there anything I can do for you ? If so, let me know. London 
seems to be very full of visitors. Foreigners, Colonials and 
country people. Bus- riding is very difficult. Everybody is 
having a ride round to see the preparations. The illuminations 
will be of a very magnificent and elaborate order. My &mily 
and self are all quite well. Did I tell you that the nipper [his 
son] got lost the other day in Leather Lane and was brought 
home by a policeman ? A little girl recognised him and told the 
policeman, otherwise he would, or rather was being uken to 


King's Cross Police Station. It gave us a very great fright, as 1S97 
we thought he might have been stolen by the SaiFron Hill organ Act. 61 

Mr. Garnett of the British Museum had told Butler 
that his grandfather's friend Tillbrook had corresponded 
with Southey, but the correspondence appeared to be lost ; 
Professor Mayor had given Butler some information 
about it. 

Butler to Professor J. E. B. Mayor. 

27 July 1897 — ^^ ^ quite possible that some one who reads 
what I have written on p. 83 of Vol. II. of my Life of Dr. Butler 
[saying he would be grateful for more letters by Tillbrook] will 
write and tell me something. I have often found that I gain 
quite as much information by lying in wait as by hunting. I 
used to find this more particularly when I had lost my bullocks 
in New Zealand, and the lesson has stuck by me. 

I am having much trouble with my new book The Authoress 
of the Odyssey — where she wrote, who she was, and as much more 
about her as we can now reasonably hope to discover. It is 
completed, preface and all, but neither Murray nor Bentley nor 
George Bell will publish it for me even at my expense. They 
like it, but are afraid of its not being taken seriously. 

I need hardly say that I am very much in earnest about it 
myself, and believe it to be much the most important thing that 
I have done. I have been to Trapani again, taking with me the 
soberest friend I have, to verify all my statements on the ground 
itself. I am satisfied that I am right both as to the sex of the 
writer and the place where she lived and wrote ; moreover in 
the six years or so since I first began to ventilate the subject, 
there has been no attempt to meet my arguments and I am 
convinced that something would have reached me, either from 
Sicily or from England, if there were anything serious to be said 
on the other side. At any rate, as I have said at the end of my 
book, whatever the ultimate verdict of scholars may be, I am 
satisfied that my case on both my main points is amply strong 
enough to justify me in stating it. 

The book is about 300 pp. long and I have written to 
Metcalfe, the printer of The Eagle^ asking him to print it for me. 
Almost two-thirds of it are sobriety itself; the remaining one- 
third is, I believe, strictly true, but it will cause great offence, 
which I regret, but cannot help. 

Mr. Murray had declined The Authoress in April while 
we were on our way to Sicily, and Alfred, in forwarding his 




1897 letter, wrote : " I am pulverized with Murray's answer 
^^^ ^' and cannot tell you how sorry I am. I did think he 
would have published it." Butler, though disappointed, 
was not " pulverized " because it appeared that Mr. 
Murray had submitted the MS. to "a well-known 
Homeric scholar.'* Messrs. G. Bell & Sons also declined 
the book. 

Butler to Messrs. G. Bell £s? Sons. 

23 jfufy 1897 — I understand your objections perfectly; they 
were all of them present to me when I wrote, but I considered 
that if I stated my case in the academic manner I should not 
move the academic people and I should lose the ordinary club 
and cultured women readers who in the long run force the 
academic people to follow them. 

If my case is strong, as I believe you have felt it to be, other 
people will presently feel it so too and, in a matter of such 
importance and interest, the manner will go for nothing. People 
will see fast enough that I am serious though, no doubt, they 
will pretend at first that they believe I am trifling. 

Mr. Prothero's advice to me before I began to write was : 
" Be as wicked as ever you possibly can.*' I believe the advice 
to have been perfecdy sound and, if I could have made my book 
more wicked, I would have done so. Still two-thirds of it is 
sobriety even to dreariness. 

As for my having " distorted the simplicity of the Odyssey^^ I 
do not think it. I believe I have revealed it, and should be 
deeply shocked if I thought I had taken any liberty with it 

There ! I have met frankness with frankness ; I am very 
sorry you do not undertake the book, but again thank you very 
sincerely for the consideration you have given it. 

"It is," as Butler wrote to Hans Faesch, "much 
easier to write a fairly good book than to find a publisher 
who will take it" The anxiety of hunting, the dis- 
appointment when the MS. came back, the delay and 
uncertainty, the impossibility of settling down to the 
next thing he wanted to do — all this was a tedious and 
worrying labour for which he was not suited ; whereas 
the writing of a book was a happiness and a delight that 
engrossed him. The ordinary difficulties of finding a 
publisher are increased when the " fairly good book," 


though perfecdy serious, is written in such a manner that 1897 
experienced publishers like Murray, Bentley, and George ^^ ^* 
Bell are afraid of its not being taken seriously. Butler 
knew that his theory was subversive and, remembering 
that " a little levity will often save many a good heavy 
thing from sinking," intentionally treated the subject in 
a way which he hoped would make it attractive. Just as 
people were misled by the hmnour of Yorick in Tristram 
Shandy ^ so they were misled by Butler*s "levity," and 
could only believe he was serious by supposing diat he 
took up the theory in jest and then argued himself into 
adopting it seriously. Some one, but I have forgotten 
who it was, told me that he had actually heard Butler 
admit, or go very near to admitting, that this was so. 
I never heard him say anything of the kind ; it was 
always, from the beginning, serious conviction. Still, he 
did sometimes act on the advice he gave to Hans Faesch 
in his letter of 31st July 1896 (ante, p. 248), about the 
advantages of pretending to agree with those with whom 
we differ, hoping that the listener would thereby be 
induced to be patient, to think the matter over for 
himself, and eventually to see things in their true light. 
But the danger of following this advice is that, if you 
act on it at all thoroughly, and Butler was apt to do 
things very thoroughly, the listener may be deceived and 
may thereafter go about asserting that he had been 
personally assured of something which really was not 
intended to be taken seriously. 

Russell Cooke (Butler's solicitor) had sent him an 
article on Maeterlinck written by Mrs. Crawford, the 
sister of Mrs. Russell Cooke, and Butler was to give his 
views on the article. 

Butler to Russell Cooke. 

19 August 1897 — Of course I like the tone and spirit of the 
article and admire the lucidity and sympathy with which it is 
written. All this goes as a matter of course, and it would be 
waste of time to say more than that I appreciate and am in 
sympathy with the generous desire to admire that which is 


276 MAETERUNCK xxxyi 

1897 admirable that pervades the whole of Mrs. Crawford's article 
Act. 61 but — to speak quite frankly — ^I believe, or strongly suspect, that 
she will not think as highly of Maeterlinck in ten years as she 
does now. He has sat at the feet of Plato, Marcus Aurelius, 
Carlyle, and Emerson — ^I say nothing about Plotinus and Novalis 
for I know no more about them than your clerk Jenkins does. 
The others I have tried and at no such feet can I sit. They 
have no message for me. Plato is the best, his Apology is 
ipUndid ; his descriptions of scenery and his episodial (if there is 
such a word) chats with friends on a fresh summer morning are 
delightful ; but, take him all round, my feeling towards him is 
much what I gather Aristophanes to have entertained, and he 
is not for me. Carlyle again is for me too much like Wagncy, 
of whom Rossini said that he has des beaux moments mais des 
mauvais quarts d'heure — my French is not to be trusted. Ask 
Mrs. Crawford to read Marcus Aurelius, divesting herself of all 
knowledge that he was Marcus Aurelius, and see what she 
thinks of him. I have never read a line of his that leaves me 
wiser than I was befpre. These men are not the teachers 
towards whose pupils I instinctively turn ; on the contrary I 
look on their devoted adherents with suspicion. 

Again, Maeterlinck it seems is only 35 years old. I saw 
another enthusiastic article about him in one of the weeklies ten 
days or so ago. Now, true genius cannot so soon be recognized. 
If a man of 35 can get such admiration he is probably a very 
good man, but he is not one of those who will redeem Israel ; 
and at my age I turn to these alone or, at any rate, to such as I 
believe to be these alone. 

There — ^libera vi animam meam. 

I have got the first slips of the proofs of my Authoress of the 
Odyssey^ and the work is, I am happy to say, to be published by 
Longmans, but at my expense. To my surprise he made no 
difficulty about doing it* It is far better that it should come 
from him. 

P.S. — ^And then there is Ibsen. He may be, and I daresay 
is, a very wonderful man, but. what little I know of him repeJs 
me and, what is worse, bores me. 

One reason why it was better that the book should 
come from Longmans, even though Butler had to pay all 
the expenses, was that they had published Dr. Butler's 
Geography^ and Butler liked returning to the family 

On 1st November 1897, we received the first copy 
of The Authoress of the Odyssey ^ where and when she wrote^ 


who she waSy the use she made of the Iliad ^ and how the 1S97 
poem grew under her hands. The dedication runs thus : ^^^' ^* 
"Al Professore Cav. Biagio Ingroja, Prezioso Alleato, 
r Autore riconoscente." 

The book was to have been dedicated to Emanuele 
Biaggini, but he died shortly before it was issued ; we 
had seen him on his death-bed in the spring at Trapani. 
Butler chose Ingroja as being the one who, after Biaggini, 
had helped him most. 

Ingroja to Butler. 

Calatafiici, 27 October^ 1897. 

My dearest Friend — ^I have not any expression and want 
words sui tables to signify my wonder in reading your most kind 
postcard on 21 instant. The undeserved hight of honour with 
which you regale me, inscribing y6ur jusdy dearly book to my 
poor name and in such a manner joining it to your deserved 
renown, way so unexpected and much precious gift that I have 
been strongly struck and affected with it and wept for joy 
together with my wife. It is and will be for ever my better * 
title of honour in which I will take pride only angry to not 
deserve it. 

I thank you most heartily my dearest friend — no more friend 
but my true brother in love, if you please, for I have not neither 
could never meet or find another gentleman so good-hearted and so 
dear to my soul on the world. 

My wife send you her kindest regards ; likewise the family 
Adamo with Giulio ; the hxnWy MoIIica with all our friends. Give 
oiu" salutations to Mr. Jones and you take an hug from truly 
alwajrs yours, B. Ingroja. 

Buder, commenting on the conclusion of this letter, 
said to me : '^ It is something to take ^ an hug * from one 
who was embraced by Garibaldi." 

The Authoress of the Odyssey consists pardy of matter 
already published in England and Italy, particulars being 
given in the preface to the book. It al^ contains the 
substance of various lectures he had delivered while the 
theory was growing, some of which are mentioned at their 
proper places in this Memoir, others not being mentioned 
because they were ephemeral. The book did not meet 
with general acceptance. The following notes give an 


i«97 account of Dr. Garnett*s attitude on the subject and of 
^^ ^* Butler's treatment of him. 

Garn£Tt and Ti/s Authoress 


I gave him a copy of course but, though I have seen him 
several times since, he will not say a word about it. That it has 
disgusted him I do not doubt. The mere bringing; of common 
sense to bear upon such a question at all shocks and angers him, 
just as it shocks me to think that people have gone on raiding the 
Odyssey for so many centuries without bringing common sense to 
bear upon it. The //iW, the Odyssey^ the Elizabethans en bloc 
and, indeed, all who have reputation as classics Uve and move, 
according to Garnett, in a region where the writs of common sense 
do not run. As for getting out of him, by way of criticism, any- 
thing that might be useful to me, or any correction or suggestion — 
I should be a greater fool than I am if I did not know that he will 
give me nothing. Annoyed I am, because I do not think he is 
treating me with common courtesy ; but I shall let him alone, 
and I have no doubt I shall give him my next book just the same. 
[Nffuember 1897.] 


I have been a little too hasty in my preceding note, for this 
morning Mr. Garnett came up to me and said that he had been 
reading my book. 

^ I must say," he added with much sibiktion and much 
bowing of his head backwards and forwards more suo, ^ that so far 
I have found it more entertaining than convincing.'* 

I said : ^^ But do you not think I have made out a strong case 
for the view that the poem was written at Trapani ? '' 

"Oh yes,** with the same bowing of the head, "I think much 
of what you have said on that subject certainly does deserve 
attention. I am not myself in a position to form an opinion 
about it, but *' 

Here I broke in peremptorily: "If the book has not put a man 
of ordinary cap^^ity in a position to form an opinion one way or 
the other on that subject it has not done what I believe it to 
have done.'* 

I said this laughingly, but Garnett did not like it ; he had 
not yet finished the volume, when he had done so he might be 
more fully informed. 

I said; "As for its being written by a woman, do you not 


find that at anv rate I have more to say for myself than you 1897 
thought I had ? ^* Aet. 6z 

He was very grudging, but said : ^ Yes, I believe I may go so 
far as that," pausing almost between each word as though it was 
being dragged out of him. Thinking that this was for him a 
very great concession, I immediately changed the subject. 

As for giving any reason why ne did not find the argument 
convincing — ^not he. He did not catch hold of a single statement 
I had made and say why he thought it mistaken. I believe I have 
said all that he said. If I could remember more I should put it 
down. [November 1897.] 


I have the greatest regard, esteem, and admiration for Mr. 
Garnett, but am piqued with him for never giving me a ghost of 
a reason why he is so very hostile to my Odyssean theories, both 
as regards the poem's having been written at Trapani, and the 
authoress having been a woman. I believe myself to be open to 
conviction, if anyone will show me that I have misstated facts, 
drawn unreasonable inferences from them, or overlooked other 
facts /Which outweigh those that I have alleged and point to a 
different conclusion ; but till some one seriously attempts to do 
this I am immoveable ; and I take it amiss tha^ if Garnett has 
any knowledge in his possession which I have not, he should keep 
it from me. I should consider what he said with all the attention 
I could command and he must know that as well as I do. My 
belief is that in his heart he knows perfectly well that I am right, 
and that he has not got a leg to stand on, but is not going to 
admit it. It is useless trying to draw him ; he has a cor rerreum ; 
he just won't be drawn and bolts. 

The other Sunday, however, he was at Miss Bertha Thomas's 
when Jones and I were calling, and sat between Jones and me. 
Miss Thomas turned the conversation on to my book, perhaps a 
little wickedly, and said : 

^Well, Mr. Butler, I can at any rate say this much, that I 
find myself unable to speak of the writer of the Odyssey except 
as 'she.'" 

I answered : ^ That is exactly what other people have told me. 
Whether they like it or not they find the idea stick by them ; 
they may kick at it and be as disagreeable about it as they please, 
but it will haunt them, and as soon as it has become familiar to 
them they will accept it." 

I thought this was enough ; I did not dare look at Garnett, 
but Jones said it was very amusing to watch him. [April iSgSJ] 

i8o GARNETT'S SINS xxxvi 


J 8^. I was so piqued by the way he behaved to me about the book 

Act. 6a that I determined to take to calling him " Dr.'* Garnett — he 
being a D.C.L. or an LL.D. of some Scotch University — but I 
did not want him to see that I was doing so on purpose. I have 
always called him " Mr.** Garnett so far. At last the opportunity 
came. I had forgotten the details, but Jones has shown me a 
letter of mine to him, from which I extract the following : 

Dtc. 7, 1S97. 

^Dr. Garnett met me this morning as I was coming out 
of the Museum and was surprisingly gracious. I think last 
Saturday's reviews had impressed him a good deal ; he professed 
to think some of them not unfriendly (it is astonishing what very 
small mercies people expect me to be thankful for) and maintained 
that I had got quite as much support as I could expect considering 
the strangeness of the views I was putting forward. And Wilson, 
too, was very gracious and declared the review in Literature to be 
* quite friendly.* (Surely the word * quite * would not have been 
necessary if the review had been quite friendly.) Something has 
happened, I don't know what, for Dr. Garnett told me a long 
story of an editorial blunder of which he had just been convicted, 
and then capped it with a story of Scotch humour, and said we 
were like the two boys in the story confessing to one another. 

^Then I said with my sweetest smile: 'I am sure Dr. 
Garnett all your sins will be of the most venial description,* and 
emphasized my words by holding vp both hands like the old 
servant in ' Marriage k la mode,' and throwing mv head back as 
much as to say, ^ Yours will be venial enough, but think how 
wicked mine are.* I did it beautifully and got the ^ Dr.* in ; 
whether he noticed my doing so or no, I cannot say $ what I 
should like best is that he should not know what to think, for 
that is always the most disagreeable. 

'* It seems Coleridge wrote a poem which Garnett said was 
founded on an earlier poem, but no one knew where the earlier 
poem was to be found, nor who it was by. Then some German 
said it was probably by one of the Minnesingers, an English editor 
followed him, and Dr. Garnett followed both ; and now it turns 
out that the poem is by Ben Jonson. So, after all, the great 
"difference between the Garnett genus and myself is that they do 
not read Ben Jonson and profess to do so, while I do not read 
him and do not profess to do so. Then followed the excru- 
ciatingly humourous Scotch story, and we parted friends. 

'^ A few days afterwards Garnett ^ did penance in a white 
sheet * (to use his own expression to me) in The Athenaeum. 

xxxvi MR. JUSTICE WILLS 281 

Then came a letter from someone else to say that there was an 1897 
error in the penance. Garnett may have replied to this, but if so Act. 6z 
his letter escaped me." ly^ne 1898.] 

But every one was not of the same opinion as Dr. 
Garnett. Here, for instance, is an extract from a letter 
to me written by Mr. Justice Wills, with whom, as I have 
mentioned above, I had some correspondence after Butler's 

Mr. Justice JVills to H. F. Jones. 

20 February 1903 — I was always much interested in his 
writings and was one of the few people who took seriously his 
book about the Odyssey^ which appears to me to be a very power- 
ful piece of well-reasoned argument and to have deserved at all 
events a serious reply. His identification of the scene of the 
Odyssey and of the course of the wanderings of Ulysses is, I think, 



1897— Part II. 1898 


1897 During the autumn of 1897 I had been overworking 
* and in December had gone for a rest and change to Nice, 
where I was staying with my mother and sisters. 

Butler fo H. F. Jones. 

4 December 1897 — I am muddling along with my chorus. 
One thing that pleases me about the reviews [of The Authoress'] 
and myself is that I have not felt the smallest temptation to reply 
to any one of them — very gross though the misrepresentation hais 
often been. Tell me what reviews you have not come across at 
Nice and I will send them to you if you like ; but perhaps I had 
better not for they will make you very angry — and perhaps retard 
your recovery ! 

I replied that I did not want to see the malicious and 
spiteful reviews, and he wrote that he would send " none 
but good ones — if there should prove to be one, which I 
do not expect." 

Butkr to H. F. Jones. 

16 December 1897 — -^ '^^'^ came to call on me on Saturday 
whom I had not seen for a full 20 years, a Times war corre- 
spondent. He is a gendeman, but he bored me and frightened 
me. He had not heard of my Odyssey book, and, when I told 
him, he began to spout lines from Pope's Odyssey^ and it alarmed 
me to hear him maundering on in that way, so silly, so senile, and 
so clever. He was a creature from another world and I felt 
inclined to bid him depart from me as from a sinful man, O 


/^ ^-.../tir- 





Lord ! However he got an Authoress out of me ; and on 1897 
Monday he came up again with a young woman — an actress, a Act. 6a 
Miss Hodson. If he does so any more I shall have to play him 
my chorus on a ground-hass. 

23 December 1897 — I have been out with Alfred and Angelo 
to Harrow Weald. I had to kiss old Mrs. Foskett under the 
mistletoe and so had Alfred and Angelo. 

Angelo was Angelo Coppo, from the Rosa Rossa at 
Casale, who had come to England to learn English as his 
brother Cesare had done ; and Mrs. Foskett was one of 
the old ladies who, with Queen Elizabeth (since deceased), 
used to keep the public-house at Harrow Weald. Butler 
had not been well this autumn, and the publishers were 
worrying him and giving him a great deal more trouble 
than he liked, hence the slight petulance that may be 
perceived in the extract about the Times correspondent. 
On the other hand Pauli had been giving no trouble. 
Pauli was always sympathetic about the books and had'been 
particularly so about The Authoress. He was more hurt by 
the tone of the reviews than Butler, having expected a 
more cordial reception. On 1 5th December he came to ! 
lundh in Clifford's Inn as usual, and, the following day, \ 
wrote that he had caught cold and should not come to | 
lunch on the 1 7th. Butler was not uneasy because every 
winter was a struggle for Pauli and he was often prevented 
from coming to lunch. He wrote again saying how he 
was, and Butler replied to his chambers in Lincoln's Inn 
that he intended to go to Boulogne for Christmas, accord- . 
ing to custom, and giving his address there so that, in | 
case he might be wanted, he could be sent for. He also [ 
asked if Pauli would like him to send £2^^ the balance of \ 
the ^50 due at Christmas, half of the quarterly payment j 
of the allowance having been anticipated. Pauli replied 
promising to keep Butler posted and saying that the ^25 j 
could stand over, but his letter was written by a nurse. 
At Boulogne, Butler received one communication from 
the nurse and then, for three days, nothing. He returned 
to town and next day read in The Times that Pauli had * 
died on the 29th December, exactly eleven years to the 
day after the death of Canon Butler. 

284 PAUU'S FUNERAL xxxvu 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

1897 30M Dic. 1897 — I ^^^^ '^^^ ^'^ written to and have no idea in 

Aet. 62 ^liat surroundings his last iUness was passed, and I rather think I 
had better not enquire nor put myself into communication with 
his friends. If he had wished the communication to be established 
he would have ensured its being so. All I should have wished to 
do would be to attend the funeral to do away with the supposition 
that there was any estrangement between us and as the only 
fitting termination of so close an intimacy ; but I feel convinced 
I shall be communicated with (in which case I shall certainly 
attend) unless it was Pauli's distinct wish that I should not be 
present, in which case of course I am better away. It is all very 
sad and to me utterly unintelligible, so much so that I shrink from 
making any move till a move is made towards me. 

Butler was communicated with by the undertaker and 

attended Pauli's funeral. He and the others who had 

been invited assembled in the Westminster Bridge Road 

and went by train to Brookwood. He recognised some 

of them, though he had not seen them for thirty years. In 

the course of conversation in the train he asked where 

i Pauli had lived, for there could be no reason now why he 

j should not know. He was told that he lived in Belgrave 

/ Mansions, Grosvenor Gardens, S.W. It seemed that the 

' rooms were very cheap, only ^ 1 20 a year, which was less 

than he had paid before, when living in Bruton Street* 

j Butler was paying ^28 rent for his own rooms in 

Clifford's Inn, or about ^36 in all, including rates and 

taxes. Then he asked : 

** Have you any idea how much Pauli made by his 
profession ? " 

One of his fellow-travellers replied : ** I do not know 
how he has been doing of late years, but many years ago 
— ^perhaps twenty, but I cannot be certain — he told me he 
was earning about ^700." 

Butler remembered his father's letter in 1879 saying 
; he had been told that Pauli was making j^iooo a year, 
and how Pauli had indignantly denied that he was making 
. more than his bare expenses. 

Then Butler heard that during his last illness Pauli 
had been properly looked after, that he had well-to-do 


!>•. ^ M 


friends who saw that he had every comfort, that he was 1898 
conscious till about six hours before the end, and that he ^^' ^* 
died without any pain or struggle. j 

Presendy we reached Brookwood and went to the mortuary 
chapel, where the service was read with an unctuous affectation 
that I have seldom heard exceeded, and thence to the grave. 

After the coffin had been duly lowered and the service ended, 
we were asked to a luncheon which had been brought down with 
us from London. Everything was done regardless of expense and 
I was wondering who in the world was paying for it — or rather I 
should have wondered if I had not heard about . • • [the well-to- 
do friends] — when I reflected, with a certain satisfaction, that for 
once in my life I was making a hearty meal at what was very 
nearly Pauli's expense. It was the nearest thing to a dinner from 
him that I had ever had. 

[Then it appeared that Pauli had left his brother j^iooo] as 
though there were more than £1000 disposed of under Pauli's 
will. And here the reserve which I had maintained very suffi- 
ciently broke down. I had been shocked at learning the style 
in which Pauli evidently lived, and the amount he had been mak- 
ing at the Bar while doing his utmost to convince me that he 
was not clearing anything at all. I understood now why Pauli 
had preserved such an iron silence when I had implored him to 
deal with me somewhat after the fashion in which I had dealt with 
him. The iniquity of the whole thing, as it first struck me in full 
force, upset me. 

He took one of the other mourners aside, told him 
shortly about the relations that had subsisted between 
Pauli and himself, and asked his advice as to whether he 
ought to say anything about them. Speaking about these 
things to another had the effect of calming him and of 
showing him that he had perhaps said too much ; where- 
upon he regained control of himself and behaved quite 
genially on the way up to town — at least he writes that he 
** answered all their questions genially." I was not there 
and cannot say how the geniality struck them. ( 

Soon afterwards, the solicitor who was winding up v 
Pauli's estate sent to Butler an old will of his dated 1864 
or 1865, almost wholly in favour of Pauli, who had 
preserved it although he was aware that it had been \ 
revoked and knew the contents of Butler's then existing 
will. The solicitor next wrote about the value of shares 



1898 in the Canada Tanning Extract Company, and said that he 

^^' ^* had several books and other mementoes of Pauli at his 

office, and that Butler could have one if he liked to call. 

Butler did not want any further memento of Pauli than he 

already had, and felt sure that the solicitor must have 

known that the shares were valueless ; nevertheless, 

f guessing that his correspondent wanted to see him, and 

I thinking he might hear something interesting, he called. 

^ He learnt that Pauli's greatest receipts from his 

, practice in any one year were from ^^800 to ^^900, but 

t that during the last few years he had done less, owing to 

his frequent illnesses, and had not taken more than about 

^500 or ^600. The net value of his estate was about 

/9000. He heard also that he had been receiving money 

from other friends, and a great deal more which need not 

be repeated here. 

I have taken the above, sometimes quoting, sometimes 
condensing, from the conclusion of the long and detailed 
account left by Butler of the relations between himself 
and Pauli. He wrote the account while abroad and 
speaks of it as being left in a rough state, by which 
he means that it was not rewritten. If this remark- 
able document is ever printed in full, most of it will be 
found to be what Canon M'Cormick would have called 
" very painful reading." This is the peroration, not 
condensed : 

I can now bring this squalid, miserable story to an end. On 
^ thinking it all over my main feeling is one of thankfulness that I 
never suspected the racts, as I now know them, till after Pauli^s 
death. The only decent end for such a white heat of devotion as 
mine was to him for so manv years was the death of one or other 
of the parties concerned. It I had withdrawn from him and said 
I would do no more for him, I firmly believed that he would say 
nothing, leave me, and, probably, either blow his brains out or 
drown himself. I felt pretty sure I was doing a great deal too 
much, but I had rather have done a great deal too much than a 
little too little. Moreover, I knew him to be in wretched health, 
quite unfit to bear any great shock or change of habits. It was 
absolutely impossible for me to suspect that he had /9000 of solid 
money behind him. Knowing What I do now, T see that the 
withdrawal of my ^200 a year would not have been the disaster 


to him which I thought it would ; but, even so, Pauli would 1898 
never have stood my breaking with him. Not that he liked me -A-ct. 69 
— it is plain he never did so — but he respected me and feared me. 
He must have feared things coming round to me. He would never 
have known what I might not say about him. Physically he was 
as brave as morally he was the reverse ; if he had founa himself 
threatened with disgrace he woulii never have faced it. This is 
my belief, and the more I think of it the more thankful I am 
that I never knew the truth until it was too late for my know- 
ledge to tempt me into departing from the line of conduct which 
I had long decided upon. 

Besides, even though Pauli had not gone under in consequence 
of my breaking with him, if he had died, as he easily might in 
any of his winter colds years before the end actually came, I 
should have been haunted by the fear that I had been the cause 
of it to my dying day ; whereas now my conscience is absolutely 
clear of all offence towards him save that of having made it so 
deplorably easy to do things which, if I had made them harder, 
he would have been less likely to do. The thing is over. I am 
thankful that it is so. I can laugh at the way in which Pauli 
hoodwinked me, and, as I said to the solicitor, though he left me 
nothing in his will he has, in effect, left me from ^200 to ;^2io 
a year, clear of all outgoings — for the luncheons must be taken 
into the account. We both of us laughed somewhat heartily 
when I took in the luncheons. 

How far I am right in leaving this record of the transaction, 
I am more uncertain. Jones thinks I should leave it. I can at 
all events destroy it later and, unless I had taken advantage of 
my foreign trip to write it at odd times now, while the later 
incidents are fresh in my mind, I should never have written it 
at all. I could never tear myself from the other work I have in 
hand while at home and able to get to the Museum. If ever it 
is read, however, it should be remembered that it is an ex parte 
statement and that Pauli's version of the matter can never be 
known. For I hardly think that he can have left any record 
concerning any part of it. 

Lastly, I cannot refrain from remembering what a thorn 
Jeudwine was in my grandfather's side for thirty-six years. 
Mutatis mutandis, it is a very singular thing that for so nearly 
the same length of time I should have been so closely linked 
with one whose connection with me was, on the whole, I suppose 
I must admit, disastrous. If I have borne my crux with anything 
like Dr. Butler's self-command, surely that should be enough 
for me. 

RoMB, Frid, May 20th, 1898. 

Begun about April 14th and left in this rough state. 

288 GHEMME xxxvn 

1898 Pauli's death had naturally depressed Butler and we 

^^ ^* looked forward to our Sicilian tour. We started on the 
6th April and went through Basel to Casale-Monferrato, 
and he picked up in health and spirits at once. Having 
to wait two hours at Novara, we lunched at the station 
in the restaurant which was kept by a polite little old 
man in a black silk cap and a gold scarf-pin set with 
diamonds. He knew us, for we had often lunched there 
on our way to and from Varallo. He had been made 
a cavaliere, not, so we were told, because of " any damned 
merit" as those words are ordinarily used, but for the 
very sensible reason that he had a genius for attracting 
good wine to his famous cellars. He gave us a bottle of 
his best Ghemme. Towards the end of our luncheon, 
Butler called him and complained that we really could 
not drink his wine. He was much concerned, took up 
the bottle carefully and began to pour out some to taste 
it himself. When he saw we had only left a couple of 
drops he laughed, and his son laughed, and the gentleman 
at the next table laughed, and so did we, and Butler said it 
was like the white hair that Helen spied on Troilus's chin, 
and we really must give an extra tip to the waiter. But 
we had a little shock afterwards. Before our train left, 
the cavaliere sat down to his own lunch and we observed 
that he drank beer. 

At Gisale, Cesare Coppo took us for an excursion to 
Camino and the Avvocato Negri came too. It was a 
lovely day and we drove through a country "all made 
up of Bellini backgrounds." At Camino we walked up 
the hill towards the castle, carrying our basket of pro- 
visions, till we came to a shady bower by the roadside 
with a fountain of water at hand. Cesare displayed his 
luncheon and we began. We had often seen slices of 
ham cut thin but the slices which Cesare produced were 
thinner than all the other slices put together — so to speak ; 
we asked how it was done. Cesare replied that it required 
practice and a sharp knife. But there were people, he 
said, born able to do it, and they could dispense with the 
practice. They always, however, required the sharp 
knife. This reminded me of something Hans Faesch 


had told me about the boys of his native town. They 1898 
have a festa at Basel in the spring, when all the men beat ^^^ ^* 
the drum without intermission for three days. This has 
been going on for so many generations that now every 
boy born of B&lois parents is able to beat the drum as 
soon as he can hold it ; he does not require to be taught. 
But he must have drum-sticks. 

" Now let me make a note of that/* said Butler ; " it 
supports the theory of the inheritance of acquired char- 

While he was making his note, Cesare took one of 
the bottles of wine out of the fountain, where he had put 
them to cool, and filled our glasses. 

*^ Ah ! caro Cesare," said Butler, after tasting his 
wine, " il Padre Eterno fu certo di buon umore nel giorno 
in cui crei il famoso Grignolino." 

Then he returned to the ham-cutting and constructed 
a story about a prince condemned by the local witch, who 
had not been invited to his christening, to suffer from 
mental depression until he should meet with a real 
princess. And in those days it was only real princesses 
who could cut ham thin. So the prince made all the 
young ladies he met cut ham, and in this way discovered 
a real princess. She cut the ham so thin that he was 
able to read his breviary even through the lean part of 
a slice, and thus he detected a misprint which had hitherto 
escaped him. Whereupon he married her, his health was 
restored, and they both lived happily ever afterwards. 

After lunch we saw the castle and then went to the 
church of San Gottardo. The avvocato opened a little 
cupboard in the wall behind the altar and showed us that 
it contained two skulls, one broken by a nail six inches 
long that had been driven into it. 

** It looks like a murder," said Butler. 

" But who knows ? " said the avvocato, " and who 
will know until the Last Great Day when the secrets of 
all hearts shall be revealed ? " 

" Oh, that's all very well ! " exclaimed Butler, " but 
when it comes to that there will be too much going on. 
What though there lurk a little skeleton within my 

VOL. II u 



1898 cupboard ; what though he have a screw loose in every 
Act. 6a JQint ; let me but hush the rattling of his bones and keep 
him from blundering out and running downstairs to 
answer the front-door bell and tell the visitors all about 
it ; let me but keep him quiet until such time as every- 
body else*s cupboards are also giving up their contents 
and — but this is to anticipate." 

So we left the church and called on the parroco who 
knew no more of the murder than the avvocato, but he 

fave us a glass of Marsala and we photographed him, and, 
y his particular desire, in his canonicals ; he had never 
been photographed in them before. 

Butler and I were always treated at the Albergo Rosa 
Rossa as though we were members of the family — ^so 
much so that for a long while we carried on what was 
nothing less than a family quarrel with the Signora 
Coppo and Cesare. It was all the fault of the signora : 
she took it into her head that Butler had been very kind 
to Cesare and his brother Angelo when they were in 
England. I do not say that he had been unkind to the 
boys — quite the contrary — but their mother took an 
extravagant view of her rights, as I am sure she would 
have been told had she consulted any unprejudiced 
observer — myself for instance. She presumed upon her 
position as landlady and refused to deliver a bill. When 
it was time to leave and we asked for one she made a 
practice of bundling us into her omnibus and hustling 
us off to the station, saying she would get the bill ready 
for next year. Even in Italy, where time is of little 
consequence, trains will not wait for passengers merely 
because they have not paid their bills, and so it happened 
that several times we had to leave in debt to the albergo. 
Butler gave the house a barometer as a slight acknow- 
ledgement, but this only made matters worse and led to 
innumerable compacts, our fundamental idea being that 
we must have a bill of some sort, theirs, that they must 
have no more barometers of any kind ; but all the treaties 
were broken, and the relations became so strained that at 
last we threatened to stay at Vercelli and come over only 
for the day. It ended in an agreement that we might 


pay the dame as is paid by the Italian officers who 1898 
frequent the hotel, which was a victory for us in form, ^^ ^* 
but in fact for the Rosa Rossa, because the amount was 
ridiculously small and we were more trouble than many 

When we had settled with the signora, or been 
compelled to leave without settling, we went first to 
Florence, where we spent an evening with Miss Helen 
Zimmern ; then, after a day or two at Perugia, to Assist, 
the birthplace of S. Francesco. We did not know much 
about S. Francesco and were interested to learn from the 
guide-book that he passed his youth in frivolity and was 
sobered by adversity. We saw the frescoes and specially 
noticed the one representing his nuptials with la Poverdi. 
Butler said he should prefer to take for his bride la 
Competenza Modesta and that he would be as faithful to 
her as the frailty of his nature would permit. This was 
a reminiscence of what he used to say during the ten 
years before the death of his father — ^that he had taken 
vows of modest competency, but seemed to be in a fair 
way to break them. 

We went through the Abruzzi, stopping at Aquila 
and Solmona, by the railway that had recently been 
opened, and on to Naples and Salerno. Here we found 
among our letters a German newspaper containing a 
review of The Authoress^ and took it with us to read in 
the train on our way to Paestum, where we were going 
to spend the day. But Butler had no German dictionary 
and could not make much of it. Suddenly he said to 
me, indicating our fellow-travellers : 

"Do you think those people look as though they 
understood German ? " 

I considered them critically for a moment and replied 
in the affirmative; whereupon he stated his difficulty 
and showed them his review. They were Monsieur 
Hippolyte Schmitt and his two daughters, French people 
from Metz, and one of the young ladies satisfied him as 
to the contents of the review. They were going to 
Paestum also, and we spent a delightfld day with them. 
They provided just what he wanted — some new, pleasant, 

R-"l N m. '-»;*>t!H 


292 BREAKFAST xxxvn 

i«9« friendly, sympathetic companions to play with. The 
A^ ^* acquaintance thus begun continued to the end of Butler's 
life, and since his death I have remained on friendly terms 
Tnth the Schmitts. 

We went by train to R^gio, crossed to Messina, and 
proceeded to Taormina, where I was taken ill, probably 
the result of fatigue from travelling too continuously. 
After about a week Butler left me to recover while he 
went round the island and saw his friends. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 


9 May 1898 — I ordered my breakfast at 8. At 8 sharp, a 
knock at my door. ^Break&st'* said I to myself; but it was 
Sugameli. At 8.15 a knock at my door. ^ B. s. I to m. ; but 
it was Giacalone. At 8.25 a.k.a.m.d. ^ B." s. I to m. ; but it 
was Tummarella At 8.40 I could stand it no longer ; I said 
they might go on talking, but I must get my breaknist. I got 
it at 9. 

While Butler was away, I idled about in Taormina, 
or went for such walks as I could manage, or lay on the 
grass in the theatre in front of the great view, recuperating, 
and by the time he came back I was sufficiently recovered 
to return home with him. Before we left, we were in 
the theatre one day looking at the fragments of the 
stones that are strewn about m the orchestra, and he said 
they were like the fragments of My Duty towards My 
Neighbour that lay strewn about in his memory. It 
would take a lot of work to put them all back into their 
places and reconstruct the original. 

We went to Messina and, as it was calm weather, 
took the steamer to Naples, whence we travelled by land 
to Rome, Genoa, Turin, Casale-Monferrato, and Basel. 
Here we saw Hans Faesch, who had come to Europe for 
a holiday and to make arrangements for a change in his 
life in the East 



Professor Joseph Galeoto to Butler. 

Trapani, ^ird May 1898. 

Dear Sir — I am acquainted with Mr. Peter Sugameli, a 1898 
bosom firiend of yours. This makes me bold to ask jrou for ^^^- ^> 
some elucidations, as you are a literary man of repute. I am 
about to publish an Abridgement of English Literature for the 
use of Technical Institutes in Italy. I wish to know something 
about Alfred Austin, the present Poet Laureate; namely, the 
place and time of his birth, his studies, his masterpiece and minor 
works and his liteiary merits. Is Lewis Morris inferior to the 
above writer? Mav I affirm that the principal poets of the 
present time are : Swinburne, Morris, Austin and Mary Robinson ? 
Awaiting your favour I thank you in advance and ever remain,^- 
Yours respectfully, Prof. Josbph Galeoto. 

CoRso V. Emmanuilb, 
N. aaS i« Piano. 

Butler to Professor Galeoto. 

yrdjum 1898. 

Dear Sir — Alfred Austin was born at Headinfi;ley, May 30, 
1835. He was educated at Stonyhurst College, 184^^-1852, and 
took his degree as Bachelor of Arts at London University, 
1853. He was called to the Bar, Nov. 17th 1857. His works, 
which are very numerous, range from 1853 ^^ ^^95* ^ cannot 
say which are the most important of them ; there are over thirty 
in all and I have never either read or heard of a single one of 
them. A collected edition of his poems was published in 1892. 
He was appointed Poet Laureate on the death of Lord Tennyson 
in 1896. 

I have taken the foregoing from A Dictionary of English 
Authors^ by R. Farquharson Sharp, of the British Museum, pub- 
lished by George Redway, Hart Street, Bloomsbury, 1897 > Pnce 
7 shillings and sixpence net. 

I think you should omit Miss Mary Robinson from your list 
of leading poets ; but you should, I think, mention Rudyard 
Kipling, about whom you will find all necessary details in the 
work above referred to. 

As for estimating the comparative merits of Alfred Austin and 
Lewis Morris, I could not attempt such a task without at any 
rate reading some of the works of one or both of these writers^ 
a labour which I beg to assure you is hr beyond my strength.--- 
Believe me, Dear Sir, Yours fiudifully, 

S. Butler. 


1898 Butler was now immersed in Shakespeare's Sonnets. 

AcL 6a jj^ learnt them by heart, beginning by learning the first 
line of each with its number, as one might learn a set of 
nonsense verses ; then he learnt each Sonnet and thus he 
remembered their order. On 30th July he wrote to 
The Athenaeum with his reasons for dating them early in 
the life of the poet. 

He was also correcting the proofs of his translation of 
the lUad. I had gone abroad early in August and was 
staying with Hans Faesch in Switzerland Butler went 
for an outing of four days to Flushing : 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

24 Aug. 1898 — ^They have been deluging me with proofs 
lately [of the translation of the Hiad]. There are only about 
eight pages more to come now, and then, of course, the preface. 
I have got one or two nice emendations for the Sonnets which no 
one has got, one of them especially good, I think, as explaining 
how Sonnet 99 comes to have 15 Imes; but you can imagine 
what with proof and Flushing I have not done much work at the 
Sonnets, but I have no more to learn by heart. Also at Flushing 
I wrote one myself, a poor innocent thing but I was surprised to 
find how easily it came ; if you like it I may write a few more. 

The Sonnet was the one beginning: **Not on sad 
Stygian shore,** given post, p. 361. Of course I liked it 
very much and he did " write a few more.** 

My sister Lilian had been trying her hand at short 
stories, and we had submitted one to Butler for his opinion 
and advice ; it was called " Mrs. Waley's Sacrifice.** 

Butler to Mist L. I. Jones. 

26 Aug, 1898 — As for your writing — pray believe me you 
write quite "pleasantly,** "lucidly," and without being either 
"stilted or careless** at present. Perfection in writing is an ignis 
iatuus ; every one is at times both stilted and careless and more 
or less unpleasant. Homer is so, Shakespeare is so, and so long 
as we are men and women we must be contented to be as we 
are and our readers must be contented to take us for what we 
are. Look at Shakespeare's Sonnets (which I have committed to 

■" ■• ■■ •■ m9m^^^^^m^^m^;t^^m^K^^mmmm^m^gm'9^mamtmKm^KK99ll9F^^^^WItlKg^ 


memory that I might the better understand them] — they are 1898 
written, I take it, hastily. They abound with slovenliness, A^^- 6> 
crabbedness, and obscurity ; he thought he would take more pains 
and polish up " Venus and Adonis ** and " Lucrece " with extreme 
care — with what result ? We can admire these last, but we do 
not want them ; whereas we can read the Sonnets over and over 
and over and over again. I take it Shakespeare got to understand 
that he had made a mistake in finishing too highly, and we have 
it on authority that in his plays but few lines were blotted. The 
upshot of all this preaching is to urge you not to trouble about a 
style — ^not the least little bit — 

In art, books, music, there's no other plan 
To mend the style except to mend the man. 

And the same applies to woman as much as to man — as I need 
hardly say — but there is no comfortable rhyme to ^ woman." 

Practically what, if I may venture to say so, you want is to 
develop some of the motives you have already introduced ; there 
is Mrs. Waley^s wig, there are the brother's debts, there is the 
parrot, and surely poor James may in the end be revenged — ^might 
4ie not even sell the parrot, cage and all ? However, I do not want 
to make suggestions. 

But I may add this much. I have often at the beginning of a 
book found myself very uncertain what I would do, and appalled 
at the difficulty of knowing what to put where, and how to develop 
my incidents. I never have that feeling now because I have 
alwa}rs found that there is some one point or other in which I can 
see my way. I immediately set to work at that point and before I 
have done and settled it I invariably find that there is another 
point which I can also see and settle, etc., etc. 

At present some of your incidents — as, for example, the 
brother's debts and the quarrel between the lovers — suggest 
mechanical arrangement ; the only reason for this I believe to be 
that they are introduced a little too suddenly. In lengthening 
your work, which I hope you will do, you will be sure to find 
some ways of letting things grow more gradually. 

And now I have let my pen run on too glibly but, like 
Shakespeare and Homer, I will let the thing go without attempting 
to tinker it. 

From Butler's Diary 

Frid, Sep. ib-Tuesd, Sep, 27 — To Amsterdam to the Rem- 
brandt Exhibition returning via Haarlem (where I did not 
admire the Franz Hals) and the Hague. My feet very bad all 
the time. 

296 REMBRANDT mxvh 

1898 Butler brought home with him the Catalogue of the 

A«*- ^» Rembrandt Exhibition, and I have given it to the British 
Museum. It contains the pencil notes he made at the 
time, one to each of the 124 pictures. Sometimes he 
only says "very fine," "all very well," "admirable," 
" lovely," " I don't want it," and so on. Some of the . 
pictures are marked X, which means that he would fre- 
quently look at them if he possessed them ; others not so 
marked he admired in many cases very cordially but did 
not want them. When in doubt he put X ? Those that 
he would rather not have he marked O. I give a few of 
the more detailed notes : 

52. Het corporaalschap van Frans Banning Cocq, gezegd de 
^ Nachtwacht ^ — If I knew what to say about this picture I would 
say something, but I do not know. All I know is that I find it 
too much for me in every way, and would not live with it in my 
house. But the mutilation of the picture in 171 5 has made it 
impossible to judge it fairly. It is more full of vigorous life and 
motion, more able to take the beholder in as an actual solid scene, 
more convincingly characteristic of the time, place and circum- 
stances, in a word, more effective than any picture that I can 
call to mind ; but it overpowers me and, though 1 should be glad 
if we had it at the National Gallery, I don't want it in my 
own house. 

65. Nicholas Berchem (the property of the Duke of West- 
minster, Grosvenor House, Londoi^ — There is nothing in the 
Exhibition much finer than this and 66 [/•#. the companion picture, 
the wife of Nicholas Berchem]. 

68. Jan Six aan het venster, studie voor die ets (Lfon Bonnat, 
Paris) — ^An exquisite litde gem ; one of the most delightful in 
the whole exhibition. 

75. Studie naar Rembrandts broeder met een helm op het 
hoofd. (Keizer Frederik Museums Vereeniging, Berlijn) — I 
never saw such painting of a helmet. One would swear it was 
real. I admit it and admire it but do not want it. On second 
thoughts I think I do. 

94. Portret van een Poolsch miter in de dracht van het 
regiment van Lysowsky, in een landschap (the property of 
Giaaf Tarnowski, Dzikow, Galicia) — A very curious subject for 
Rembrandt to have had to paint. 

110. Portret van een heer (Prins Jocsoepof S*. Petersburg) — 
Wonderful. I am not sure that this and 1 1 1 are not finer than 
the Nicholas Berchem and his wife. They are among the very 
finest work he ever did. 


III. Portret van een dame met een struisveder in de hand 1898 
(Prins Jocsoepof S*. Petersburg) — ^Wonderful. I cannot make Aet. 62 
out which of the two I prefer, this or the preceding. It is 
impossible to believe that painting can do more. These two 
pictures kept growing upon me all the time I was here. 

1 1 6. De Staalmeesters — If I had Jones and Gogin and * 
Ballard with me, one after the other, and had plenty of time to 
think them all over I might know better what to think. The 
residuary impression produced upon me so far is ^that the 
picture would have been better if the painter had taken more 
pains.** I admit it and most respectfully admire it, but am vexed 
with myself for not finding it kindle all the enthusiasm that I } 
should like it to do. ( 

Perhaps it is that I find the arrangements of light, shade, i 
colour and composition more carefully studied than the individu- ' 
alities of the drapers. Three of the heads are very characterless 
and none of them carry full conviction. 

117. Homerus — Rubbish, but he does not seem to have 
made riomer blind. 

123. Esther, Haman, and Ahasuerus (the property of Z. M. 
de Konine van Roemenie, Sinal^) — Everything subordinated to 
splendid sbgging of a yellow dress. Composition disregarded ; 
arrangement of light and shade disregarded ; figures without 
interest or individuadity ; nothing in the picture to attract, except 
the splendid slogging of a yellow dress and its cloak with ermine 
lining. In reauity it is a magnificent piece of still-life painting, 
but as this it says the last word that can be said about the 
painting of yellow satin and a gold brocaded cloak. 

Hans Faesch came from Switzerland to London about - 
this time to complete his arrangements before returning 
to the East. He was accompanied by Peter HaufF, 
a Norwegian with whom he had gone into partnership, 
and they went to Vien-tiane in the Shan States with the 
intention of dealing in rubber. Before they started 
Buder gave them a farewell dinner at the Hotel d^Italie 
in Old Compton Street at which Gogin, Alfred and I 
were also present. 

On 15th October 1898, we received the first copy of 
The Iliad of Homer rendered into English prose for the use of 
those who cannof read the original. The motto on the tide- 
page is from a letter from Baron Merian to Dr. Buder : " I 
entirely agree with you after due rumination. Homer and 
Shakespeare are the only two' poets in the wide world." 


i«9^ Butler's notion of the lines on which a translation 

' should be made are thus stated in the preface : 

The genius of the language into which a translation is being 
made is the first thing to ^ considered ; if the original was 
readable, the translation must be so also, or, however good it 
may be as a construe, it will not be a translation. It follows 
that a translation should depart hardly at all from the modes of 
speech current in the translator's own times, inasmuch as nothing 
is readable for long which aiFects any other diction than that of 
the age in which it was written. We know the charm of the 
Elizabethan translations, but he who would attempt one that 
shall vie with these must eschew all Elizabethanisms that are not 
good Victorianisms also. 

And so he strove to make his translation readable for 
those who are accustomed to modern English, and avoided 
the affectation of larding it with archaisms which would 
have made it look like a shani ruin. 

In November he was at Shrewsbury and wrote to me 
that at Cressage, where he had a farm, he had been 
told of this dialogue between a parson and one of his 
parishioners : 

Parson : Such habits of intemperance not only ruin your 
character here, but gravely endanger your chances of happiness 
in a world beyond the grave. 

Parishioner: Well, Sir, I know my character is not of the 
best, but as for heaven, I must stand the risk of that as other 
people do. 



1 899. 1 900— Part I 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

3 1 J/ Jan. 1899 — I have no particular news. Alfred went 1S99 
out yesterday, when I was at the Museum, and had three stumps ^^ ^3 
of teeth out one after the other. He did not sav a word to me 
for fear it should disturb my working at the Museum, but he 
brought all the three stumps to show me; they seem to have 
come out fairly easily. Sadler called in the afternoon and he 
showed them to Sadler. Then he took them home and showed 
them to the children. By this time I suppose he had eot tired 
of them, so he put them with some salt into an envelope and 
burned them. I am glad he has had them out for they had been 
plaguing him for some time. 

Butler to Miss Butler. 

4 Jan* 1899— I have been deluged with Italian letters, two 
of them requiring long troublesome answers. An old Italian 
Member of Parliament keeps wanting all sorts of details about 
the London School Board, all of which I have to find out, and 
it worries me, for it is out of my beat. Then another wants 
all sorts of questions answered about the Odyssey j let alone the 
numerous New Year's letters that I have to answer. 

But this does not nearly exhaust the number of things 
that were interfering with the writing of his book about 
the Sonnets of Shakespeare. 

On 5th March 1899, Giacalone Patti wrote from 
Trapani that a friend of his had the flag of one of the 
steamers in which Garibaldi and his Thousand arrived at 


300 CONTE PEPOU xxxvm 

1S99 Marsala in i860. It was a large flag, white and blue 
^^ ^^ stripes with the name of the steamer, Lombardoy across 
it. The Lombardo was the steamer commanded by Nino 
Bixio and was sunk in the harbour of Marsala ; Garibaldi 
himself commanded the Piemonie. Butler was to find 
some rich Englishman, or some wealthy museum, to buy 
this historic object. He made inquiries without success, 
and replied that the flag was not more likely to find a 
purchaser in London than a flag of the Mahdi, taken in 
the Soudan, would be to find a purchaser in Sicily. 

The flag was afterwards bought by Conte Agostino 
Sieri Pepoli, and is now in the museum in the convent of 
the Annunziata at Trapani, where the count also placed 
the large collection of valuable and curious objects which 
he nve to the town. He died in the spring of 19 10, 
aged 62 ; the previous autumn I had had a long con- 
versation with him one evening as we sat together outside 
the Grand Hotel at Trapani. He was staying in Trapani 
partly to be near his museum, the arrangement of which 
was the hobby of his declining days, and partly because, 
as he grew older, life on the Mountain was too full of 
discomfort. He told me a great deal about his museum ; 
he had put The Authoress of the Odyss^ and Butler's 
letter sending him the book into a special show-case with 
the autograph MS. of a Ballata by Scarlatti which he had 
bought at the Hotel Drouot in Paris. 

There were two Scarlatti — Alessandro, the father, and 
Domenico, his son. Domenico was a friend of Handel 
and so devoted to him and his genius that he always 
crossed himself whenever Handel's name was mentioned 
in his presence. I reminded the count of this, and said that 
Butler would have been proud if he could have known that 
his book and his letter were preserved in the same case 
with a Ballata by Domenico Scarlatti. He replied that 
this would not quite do ; the Ballata is by Alessandro 
who was born at Trapani in 1658 or 1659. They some- 
times tell one in Trapani that Alessandro was born nt)t 
at Trapani, but at the village of Paceco, close by, and, if 
so, he would still pass for a Trapanese, because Paceco is 
in the Province of Trapani. Domenico was born in 


Naples in i685. There is nothing on the Ballata, as 1899 
one sees it in the museum, to tell whether it is by the ^^ ^^ 
father or the son, only the word "Scarlatti" is visible 
because the MS. is framed and the Christian name, if 
there is one, is hidden ; but the Count bought the Ballata 
believing it to be by Alessandro, the Trapanese, and it 
probably is so because he wrote much for the voice, 
whereas Domenico is better known as a writer for the 
harpsichord. I think Butler would still have felt proud 
to be in the same show-case with Alessandro Scarlatti, 

The Reverend Canonico Romano, who helped the 
count to arrange his museum, took me there afterwards 
and we copied the words of the Ballata : 

lo piango, e tu non m' odi. E pur t' amo e t* adoro. 
Odimi almeno, e poi contento morr6. Ma con chi parlo f 
Ahi ! lasso porgo al vento i tospixi. 

On 13th March 1899, Mr. (now Sir) Sidney Lee 
wrote asking Butler to join the committee which was 
being formed to present Garnett with his portrait on his 
retirement from the British Museum, Butler, of course, 

There was also much to attend to in connection with 
his small houses near London — for instance, the erection 
of a telephone pole at Ladywell ; and a great deal to 
settle about his Shropshire property, the planting of trees 
at Harnage, the shooting in the woods, the cutting of 
timber, difficulties with the water, and so on. Presently 
his nephew, who was growing oranges and grape-fruit in 
Florida, wanted him to find out where to get lace paper 
and tinsel filigree so that he could pack his goods in 
fancy style to make them attractive. 

All these interruptions worried him, I do not say 
more than they should have done, but more than they 
would have done before 1895, and more than inter- 
ruptions of such a kind would ever have worried his 
grandfather. His feet were still painful, and I used still 
to accompany him to Clififbrd*s Inn because of the giddi- 
ness ; but, as I have said, he would not always let me 
come. ' He did not, however, go alone all the way, 

302 MR. EVANS 


1899 though I did not find this out till after his death. Old 
Act. 63 pjatt, the night-watchman, who cultivated roses and 
whose watch-box was at the Southampton Buildings 
entrance of Staple Inn, had died and, in 1897, was 
succeeded by a younger man who had been a marine. 
Butler used to get the new watchman to accompany him 
as far as the corner of Chancery Lane ; there he would 
say : 

" Thank you and good-night, good Mr. Evans." 
And the watchman would reply : " Good-night, Sir." 
Butler would not let him come farther because he 
would not take him out of sight of his watch-box. After 
this had been going on for a considerable time, like a 
versicle and response in the Church service, there came 
an evening when Butler said as usual : 

** Thank you and good-night, good Mr. Evans." 
And the watchman replied ; " Yes, Sir ; good — for 

He had been saying this to himself for weeks before 
he had the courage, on this particular evening, to say it 
out loud, and Butler was so pleased with him that he 
gave him five shillings on the spot and adopted another 
form of salute. After Butler's death, Evans told this 
to my friend R. W. K. Edwards, another tenant of the 
Inn, who told me. I had already heard part of it from 
Evans, but, just as old Tom at Barnard's Inn used to call 
the hours quietly in order that the gentlemen might not 
be disturbed, so Evans stopped short in his story before 
coming to the interesting part about the five shillings, no 
doubt wishing to avoid the appearance of suggesting that 
I might follow Butler's example. 

At the end of March we started for our Italian tour 
which this year did not extend to Sicily. We went to 
Basel to salute Madame Faesch, and then to Lucerne, 
where we took the steamer to Fluelen, Dr. Mandell 
Creighton (Bishop of London) was on board with his 
family. The bishop took us away from the others into 
a corner of the deck and made Butler talk. This is 
what he always did. When Butler went to a party at 
Fulham, the bishop took him off alone and made him 



talk. The bishop would listen and smoke cigarettes, but 1899 
would never talk himself. ^^^ ^J 

"I have spent many hours with the bishop," said 
Butler, ^' but I have no idea what he really thinks on any 

We went to Casale-Monferrato and from there 
Butler went to Varallo-Sesia, and I to Nice for a week to 
see my mother. We met again at Genoa and went to 
Pisa, Siena, Florence, Forll, Ravenna. From Ravenna we 
went to Padua, to reconsider the Giotto frescoes, and then 
to Venice. Here we met our friend Joseph Benwell 
Clark who was staying .with William Logsdail the painter. 
We also found in the hotel Charles Ricketts and Charles 
Shannon, with whom Butler exchanged views about old 
masters, discussing, of course, the Hdfbein water-colour at 
Basel and the Bellini heads in the Louvre. After leaving 
Venice we stayed at Verona, Bergamo, Milan, and Turin 
on our way to Sammichele, in the valley of Susa, where we 
spent a week, and returned by the end of May via the 
Mont Cenis and Paris. 

After our return to London, the Rev. J. M. Wilson 
(now Canon of Worcester), whom Butler had not seen for 
forty years, wrote to him from Sammichele. It was an 
enthusiastic letter in praise of most of the places mentioned 
in j^lps and Sanctuaries and also of Varallo. 

Butler to the Rev. J. M. JVtlson. 

3 July 1899 — I am gratified to hear that you have found Alps 
and Sanctuaries serviceable. Would that I had time to write a 
sequel to it for which I have many notes, but I have so many 
books in contemplation and on hand that I fear I shall never 
get to it. 

My friend Jones and I visited Ravenna for the first time this 
year. . • • The old churches — particularly the two outside the 
town, S. Maria in Porto Fuori and S. ApoUinare in Classe — are 
most impressive as also are several within the town. I think Tbut 
you know them already) that you would like them as well as 
Sammichele, but in a different way. The mosaics on the whole 
disappointed us after those at Monreale, Palermo, and Cefalii : it 
was, however, most interesting to find St. John the Baptist in two 


1899 churches baptizing Christ with the assistance of the river-god of 
Act. 63 the Jordan. 

Late in July 1899 Butler received two letters from 
Lord Grimthorpe, who had read The Authoress^ and 
accepted the theory that it was written by a woman — 
Nausicaa and all. Lord Grimthorpe in one of his letters 
sent some ideas of his own upon the stringing up of the 
housemaids in the Odyssey. 

Butler to Lord Grimthorpe} 

1st Aug. 1899 — Finding that the writer when hanging the 
maids had not even tried to understand her own meaning, I rather 
shirked the passage. When, however, I publish my translation of 
the entire Odyssey^ which I hope to do in about a year's time, I 
shall have an opportunity of returning to the matter and, unless 
you forbid me, will use your scholia, with due acknowledgement, to 
make it clearer to the reader how absurd the story is. 

As you are taking so kindly an interest in my views about the 
Odysseyy I venture to add a little detail which unaccountably did 
not get printed. I mean that Nausicaa — ^whom I am glad to see 
your lordship speak of as the authoress which she certainly was — 
intended to imply that her father's habitual euests were scoundrels 
by saying that they habitually made their final drink offering for 
the night not to Neptune but to Mercury (S itv/luCt^, etc.). 

I am sure Dean Burgon was right in saying that your sword 
is not so rusty as you declare it to be ; not to pretena that mine 
is less rusty than it is I will confess that I copied my accents from 
the printed text. 

P.S. — Having occasion on Monday to call on Charles 
Longman in connection with my next book, I flung your 
lordship's first letter triumphantly at his head and he was much 
impressed by it, knowing that Andrew Lang, who is his reader, 
had assured him that the whole theory was nonsense. 

Lord Gcimthorpe invited Butler to spend a day with 
him at St. Albans. He went and his host took him over the 
cathedral and showed him the alterations and restorations 
which he had designed and had had carried out. Lord 
Grimthorpe told Butler that when he had the honour of 

* Butler only kept a draft of this letter and the extract here given may be in- 
complete, *,g, he may have written out the quotation in full, alio the date may have been 


showing them to the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII.) 1899 
the following conversation had taken place : ^^' ^3 

"And now tell me, Lord Grimthorpe," said the 
Prince, " who was your architect in carrying out these 
admirable restorations ? " 

"I employed. Sir, the only architect with whom I 
have never quarrelled." 

Butler said to me that no doubt the Prince knew all 
about that, and only asked the question so as to give 
the old gentleman an opportunity of playing off his 
little joke. 

Longmans had agreed to publish Butler's book about 
the Sonnets, but not at their own expense ; accordingly 
he had it printed at Cambridge, and on 2nd September 
1899 we went to Wassen, on the S. Gottardo, and stayed 
there sketching and correcting the proofs of the book and 
seeing it through the press. On the 28th October 1899, 
after our return to London, we received the first copy of 
Shakespearis Sonnets reconsidered and in part re-arranged 
with introductory chapters^ notes ^ and a reprint of the original 
i6og edition. The motto on the title-page is from 
Measure for Measure (v. i. 444-446) : 

They say, best men are moulded oat of faults ; 
And, for the most, become much more the better 
For being a little bad. 

Early in November 1899 Butler received a letter from 
Monsieur Fernand Henry, who had just published a trans- 
lation into French sonnets of the Sonnets of Shakespeare, 
and had seen the announcement that Butler's book was 
about to be published ; he sent a copy of his translation 
and proposed an exchange. I omit the opening of Butler's 
reply ; its purport was to thank Fernand Henry for his 
book and to say that he understood there had. been no 
intention to make original research into the difficult 
questions which underlie the Sonnets ; he also praised 
highly the introduction which gives an excellent r6sum6 of 
the opinions expressed by the writers then most in favour 
with the public. 


3o6 HOT WATER xxxvm 

Butler to Fernand Henry. 

«*99 17-20 Ncv. — Your main object was to translate the Sonnets 

Act. 63 ji^^Q French verse. I state the foregoing merely to show that I 
fully realise what you intended to do and to applaud the manner 
in which you have carried out your intention. 

But — and here comes my difficulty : French poetry is based on 
principles so foreign to English that very few Enelishmen (and I 
alas ! am not among the number) can understand French poetry at 
all ; we admire and understand your incomparable French prose — 
BufFon to me is simply the ne plus ultra of prose — but your 
poetry is a dead letter to me. I can see that you have caught and 
correctly rendered several of the most difficult sonnets ; but there 
my power of entering into the spirit of your translation begins 
and ends. I greatly regret that this should be so, but so it is. 

Let me confess further. When Messrs. Longman sent me 
your book, not being able to review it, I read your pre&ce 
attentively and several of your translations and then, having very 
little room on my shelves, I took the volume to the British 
Museum, where I work most mornings, and asked them whether 
they would be likely to get it or be likely to have it given 
them. They said that if I would give it them, they would be 
very glad to have it ; and I accordingly gave it to them. At 
that time I had not heard from you, and did not foresee that I 
should have the pleasure of doing so, but was simply anxious to 
put the book at once within reach of the many Shakespearean 
scholars who frequent the Museum. 

As for helping to get the book* reviewed in England, I have 
mentioned it to two friends of mine, employ^ in the British 
Museum, and have asked them (for they both review books) to 
call attention to it if they can ; but I never review books myself 
and have no connection with, or interest with, any of our 
journals or magazines ; indeed I am terribly out of fevour with 
all of them. I never write on any subject unless I believe the 
opinion of those who have the ear of the public to be mistaken, 
and this involves, as a necessary consequence, that every book I 
write runs counter to the men who are in possession of the 
field \ hence I am always in hot water, and I doubt whether any 
one of our English writers is in much worse odour with the 
reviewers than I am. I cannot help this ; but the complete 
isolation, or worse than isolation, in which I stand robs me of 
all power to do a good turn to anyone else, however much I 
might wish to do so. I may mention as a proof of my total 
failure to attract the public that I am at present a loser by my 
books to the extent of oyer ^^900 (English pounds) j this deficit 



has extended over some 30 years, so that it has not been heavy 1S99 
in any one year and has occasioned me absolutely no inconvenience Act 64 
whatever; but it may serve to bear out my statement that I 
have no literary position in England. 

As I never write reviews, so neither do I try to obtain them 
for myself. The only reviews I value are those that correct me 
in mistake, and these I welcome gladly. 

If there are any others of my books (see advertisement at the 
end of my last book) which vou would care to have, I shall have 
the utmost pleasure in sending them to you. Pray pardon the 
length to which this letter has extended itself. 

Mr. Garnett had not been sympathetic about The 
Authoress^ as we have seen, so Butler did not expect 
from him much sympathy for his book about the Sonnets ; 
nevertheless he sent him a copy which Garnett acknow- 
ledged in a long letter. 

Butler to Richard Garnett. 

1$ Dec, 1899. 

My dear Mr. Garnbtt — I think it very kind of you to 
have entered so fully into detail as regards my book in your 
letter received this morning, for I am sure you have all one 
man's work on hand with literary undertakings. Your letter 
is valuable to me as showing how my book strikes one than 
whom I know none more able to form a sound opinion con- 
cerning it ; nevertheless men's minds are as steelyards graduated 
so differently that on no two of them will the same considerations 
record the same weight, and your steelyard and mine have been 
graduated very differently indeed in some respects, though very 
similarly in so many others. 

The consideration that no youth of 21 would have been 
likely to be able to write the sonnets weighs so heavily with 
you that it makes those which I have urged in support of 
Shakespeare's extreme youth at the time he wrote them ^^kick 
the beam." 

With me the consideration that no such man as I can alone 
conceive Shakespeare to have been could conceivably have written 
Sonnet 23 at the age of 30 (much less of 35) outweighs by ten, 
twenty, or a hundredfold any a priori difficulty about supposing 
that so exceptional a man should have written such exceptional 
poems at an exceptionally early age. Each supposition involves 
an impossibility in the mind of the one or other of us and there 
is no going beyond this. 

3o8 DIFFERENCES xxxvm 

1899 You think the Sonnets much freer from juvenile faults than 

Act. 64 the '* Venus " or the " Lucrece ** ; I think " Venus and Adonis ** 
and '^ Lucrece*' far more polished and mature works than the 
Sonnets ; the Sonnets to my thinking abound in juvenile 
slovenliness ; not so either " Venus and Adonis " or ** Lucrece." 
And so on throughout your letter. It is a case of a profound 
difference in the values which we severally attach to the same 
considerations and, while I can fully understand that those which 
have weighed heaviest with you are indeed no light ones, there is 
not one of those you have urged— except the reading ^ foil *' in the 
last line of Sonnet 89 (69 Q}^ — ^which appears to me to outweigh 
those that induced me to take up the position that I have 
taken. I should think ^ foil " is right and in any (if any) second 
edition shall adopt it with acknowledgement. 

So it was with the Odyssey ; to me the evidence that it was 
written by a woman, and a very young one, is conclusive ; but 
you found it utterly and absolutely worthless, or at any rate 
nopelessly insufficient. I know that you have most, and very 
capable, people with you ; but I know also that I have many, 
and not less capable, upon my side, among them Lord Grimthorpe, 
who wrote to me on the subject in the summer and added 
considerations which I regret not to have insisted upon with 
greater fidlness. 

So it will be now with this book upon the Sonnets; both 
numbers and present weight are with you, but I know that I 
have enough both men and women who are cordially with me to 
prevent my feeling mjrself isolated. 

The history of literature is the history of the reversing of 
many a deeply-rooted opinion. I have not the smallest fear that 
my book will be lost sight of and I confidently believe and hope 
that time wiU bring many to my opinion. 

As regards Sonnet 148 fi25 Q), I carefully considered the 
question whether the '* thou of line 13 could refer to any other 
^thou" than the ^thou" of line 10 and, after much hesitation, 
gravitated to the conclusion that it could not, to which con- 
clusion I adhere, though my friend Jones argued the point rather 
forcibly against me. 

There ! After all the trouble that you have very kindly 
• taken I feel somewhat ungrateful in maintaining such an 
uncompromising attitude, but I caa thank you very cordially 
all the same, and am, with kind regards, Yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

There are several entries in Butler's Note-Books about 

' 89 it the number in Butler's propofed re-amngement of the order. 69 if the 
number in the Quarto which it followed in mott modem editiont. 

^" I 


Garnett and the Sonnets, and one in which he speaks of ^^99 
this letter. ^^ ^ 

My letter is, I know, insincere, but it is as sincere as I knew 
how to make it. Garnett and I have known each othc^ for many 
years and I have a great admiration for him in not a few respects — 
especially I cannot forget that he wrote that wonderful book The 
Twilight of the Gods, I cannot therefore deal otherwise than very 
tenderly with him ; but approve of him I certainly do not. 

The Authoress of the Odyssey led to a correspondence 
between Butler and Mr. Robert Bridges. I only give 
from the letters of Mr. Bridges such short extracts as are 
necessary to understand Butler's replies. 

Robert Bridges to Butler. 

23 Dec, 1899— There can be no doubt that it is one of the 
most valuable of the books on the Homeric question. There is 
no reason why the Odyssey should not have been written by a 
woman, only the woman was not to be Mrs. Barrett Browning. 
It is of course difficult (in the absence of the works of those early 
poetesses) to imagine a woman having written the great KtiL rd 
^pct of Bk. xviii. 1^5 in the speech of Odysseus to Amphinomus. 
That always seemed to me the biggest thing in the Odyssey— one 
of the biggest things in the whole of poetry — and it is so quiedy 
said no one heeds it. 

This is the speech which Butler quoted in his letter to 
Colonel Lean in 1893. I find no copy of Butler's reply 
to Mr. Bridges, but it appears that he must have spoken 
of the small success that his books had met with, and 
offered to send him copies of any he might not have. 

Robert Bridges to Butler. 

zSth Dec. 1899 — Your history of The Fair Haven astonishes 
me ; so few copies sold ! I have a copy — many thanks — ^and 
have almost all your books ; the only gaps being due to the over- 
appreciation of borrowers. I always hold you up as one of our 
best stylists. You taught me a great deal. 

Butler was no doubt led to tell Mr. Bridges how his 
books had been selling because he had been making for 

310 DR. FURNIVALL xxxvm 

1899 his own use the statement of which the Table on p. 311 
Act 64 J3 a copy. It is given also in The Note-Books of Samuel 
Butler (19 12). 

To this must be added my book on the Sonnets in respect of 
which I have had no account as yet but am over a hundred 
pounds out of pocket by it so far — but little of which I fear is 
ever likely to come back. 

It will be noted that my public appears to be a declining one. 
I attribute this to the long course of practical boycott to which I 
have been subjected for so many years — or, if not boycott, of 
sneer, snarl and misrepresentation. I cannot help it nor, if the 
truth were known, am I at any pains to do so. 

Butler made no analysis of the sales of A First Tear 
in Canterbury Settlement (iS 6 2) nor of his pamphlet on the 
Resurrection (1865). I do not know what he means by " A 
Book of Essays." It is possible that he incurred an out- 
lay of /3 : 1 1 : 9 in connection with a projected republica- 
tion of his Universal Review articles or of some of his 
Italian articles about the Odyssey. 

Myself and Dr. Furnivall 

My excellent friend Mr. Bickley,of the MS. department [British 
Museum], has for some days been bringing about a meeting 
between me and Dr. Furnivall who had borrowed my last book 
[about Shakespeare's Sonnets] from him, and who, though he did 
not agree with it, was ^ very much interested " in me and would 
like to make my acquaintance. So I was to come to the 
MS. Room last Wednesday at 4.30 and be introduced. I went, 
was introduced, and Dr. Furnivall and I then adjourned to the 
A.B.C. shop in Rathbone Place. 

As we walked thither Dr. Furnivall — a most amiable, kindly 
old gentleman, absolutely free from " side " or affectation, and very 
sensible (as I presently found) on some matters in respect of which 
most men are idiots — well. Dr. Furnivall began to tackle me by 
saying that it seemed to him, and he heard others express a like 
opinion, that I had made up my mind to make Sonnet 107 ^ refer 
to the Spanish Armada, and twisted everything else so as to make 
it fit in with this preconception. 

This interested me, for it showed me the line which the 

^ The references in this and later letters are to the Sonnets as numbered in the QuartO| 
■nd not in Butler's proposed re-arrangement. 























O O «n o o o 









ft* ^ 

«n -^NO 00 C 00 -^ 

r^ o o 



• ^ 



« ►i* ^ ^ M 







SO «<^ N c«^PQ N M 

r^vo «n 






V^ M M •>■ »— ' N 

N c«^ N 









M O ^^ "^ O 

o o o 





»4 »« 



• OO • '♦^ tooo O 

OO OO 00 






• • 

m* ^m 





r^ O\oo o OO 

ro « to 






N 00 «n ii -^ 







O » 





*^ : 2" : : : : 

• • • 

• ■ • 



• • 



• • ■ 



• : 



o\ t^ 






M M O »^ '^ O 

^O o 





M M 



. n t^ M t<^vo -^ 

VO 00 00 



»4 ^14 


• tm »m p^ 


^M tm 




►* ><^ «noo to « 

►* r^NO 



00 to 


•^^ O «*^ «o »'^ 

"^ "^ « 




s? •" -" 

« N 








o : : : : : : 

• • • 

• • • 






^« • • • • • • 

• • • 



■ • 









N n o •-• N N o 

"^r^ •-• 





-^ "^ -^ "^ r^ ro N 
00 ■H">0 vr> N ro « 

OO M o 




N M N 







• • C 



• • 

1 i 



• • 

« ^ s «« 





3 12 IN THE BREAD SHOP xxxnn 

1S99 reviewers of my book are pretty certain to take. If Dr. Fumivall, 
Aet. 64 without accusing me of preconception, had shown why it was un- 
likely that Sonnet 107 should refer to the Spanish Armada, or had 
pointed to some other event, between, say, 1590 and 1600, to 
which the Sonnet could be held preferably to refer, I should have 
paid ereat attention to him, but he made no such attempt ; more- 
over I knew both that there was no such event, and also that I 
had been driven on to the Armada by the conviction that 
Shakespeare must have been very young when the earlier Sonnets 
were written. Taking 21 as a hypothetical age for ** very young,** 
and once convinced, as I soon was, of Shakespeare's extreme youth, 
the Armada was inevitable for Sonnet 107. I confess that the 
ready accusation of preconception and of reasoning up to a fore- 
gone conclusion somewhat piqued me ; but I hope and believe 
that no sign of pique escaped me. * 

Then, when we were in the bread shop. Dr. Furnivall 
demurred to my arguing from Sonnet 2, that Shakespeare was still 
very young. He thought it was much more like the writing of an 
older person. I said there was no arguing against impressions, 
that the same words not unfrequently leave diametrically opposite 
impressions on people who are both of them able and equitable ; 
but that the impression left on me by a Sonnet which describes a 
man of 40 as one who is in an advanced state of decrepitude is 
that it can only have been written by one who had never known 
forty, or anything near it, and to whom forty still seemed very 
remote. From Sionnet 3 I collect this not less decidedly. 

We left this point, therefore, each of us holdine to his own 
opinion ; but Dr. Furnivall urged that the Sonnets belonged to the 
Hamlet period in view of their introspective and deeply philosophical 
character. It was impossible that Shakespeare at the age of 21 
should have either the mental grasp or the literary skill requisite 
for the production of the Sonnets. 

To this I rejoined inwardly — for I do not think that I said 
all that I shall now say — firstly that there is not a line in the 
Sonnets that betrays any deeper thoughts about life and things 
than must have occurred long before he was 21 to any man who 
has been married against his will at 18 and who has been greatly 
distressed for money ; it is one of the commonplace Shakespearean 
criticisms to appeal to the philosophical character of the Sonnets, 
and if to come from the heart of a great poet who has passed 
through a baptism of fire at an early age is to be philosophical, 
then the Sonnets are philosophical ; but I find nothing in them 
to show that Shakespeare could see through a brick wall more 
clearly than other young men of warm heart and indisputable 
natural genius, who have also suflfered very bitterly at an early 
age, can do. 

xxxviii SKIMMING 313 

As for its having been unlikely that Shakespeare should have 1899 
had the literary power at 21 to write the Sonnets — Shakespeare Act 64 
proved to have such transcendent literary power that there is no 
arguing as to what he might or might not have been able to do 
when he was 21. The only question should be one of fiict, as 
to whether the evidence leads us to suppose or no that he wrote 
the Sonnets at that age. We cannot argue in Shakespeare's case 
from what other young men are commonly able to do. If this 
kind of argument is permitted, may we not have some one 
presently maintaining that Pitt cannot have been born so late as 
1759 because that would make him only 24 in 1783 when he 
became Prime Minister ? 

Again Dr. Fumivall argued that Shakespeare was probably 
gay and more or less roystering in his youth, and that the 
Sonnets are the work of one who has been sobered. My answer 
is that by far the greater number of the Sonnets belong to a 
period covered by not more than a twelvemonth, during which 
Shakespeare had passed through an ordeal that would take all the 
gaiety and sprightliness out of anyone whose nerves were not of 
brass or hammered steel. Besides, there is no evidence on which 
we can rely with any confidence as to whether Shakespeare was 
a gay, light-hearted youth or no. The impression I derive from 
his works is that he was liable to quick alternations between 
extremes of depression and elation. But an impression is not a 

Then it transpired that Dr. Furnivall had never really read 
my book at all. He had skimmed parts of it. I found it 
necessary to explain to him that my view of Shakespeare's 
offence is that it never went beyond intention, and was never 
repeated. I thought I had made these points so clear that no 
one could fail to catch them, but I had to explain my position. 
As for my chapters on the Ireland forgeries, he was unaware that 
I had mentioned the Ireland forgeries at all. 

Dr. Furnivall denied that there was anything in the Sonnets 
to indicate that Shakespeare had been fonder of Mr. W. H. than 
he should have been. He said he really could not see that any 
such conclusion was warranted by Sonnet 20 — the one on which 
the imputation was generally made to rest. I told him I agreed 
with him and had said this in my book ; but I repeated Sonnet 
23, of the drift of which he evidently had no idea. Then he 
admitted that he had never studied the Sonnets very closely — a 
fsLCt which I had akeady discovered. 

Then we conversed on other matters, and I found him kindly, 
genial, and sensible. I liked the old gentleman well enougn, 
but I parted with him in some depression — for I saw more 
plainly even than before that no one in my life-time is likely to 



1900 read, mark, learn and inwardly digest either my book or the 

Aet. 64 immortal poems of which it treats. The more universal writing 

becomes, the more do people seem to have utterly lost the art of 

reading. However, I shall go on writing just the same. — [8 Dec. 


Butler to Robert Bridges. 

3 Jan. 1900. 

My dear Bridges — I must not flood you with corre- 
spondence — ^a poor return for your valued frankness — but I cannot 
let yours of December 31st 1899 go without acknowledgement. 
I have had influenza since the note I wrote to vou on Friday 
and, though able to sit to a table today, am still a very poor 
creature. It came on all of a moment on Saturday. 

In your letter of December 28th you speak of gaps caused in 
your collection of my books by borrowers. Pray let me know 
what they are and I shall have great pleasure in supplying them ; 
the only book of which I am parsimonious is Unconscious Memory^ 
which is going to be a scarce book and of which only four or 
five copies in my possession remain unsold. Many sheets were 
destroyed some years ago at Ballantyne*s. Still, if you want a 
copy some one has got to have the few that remain ; only I like 
those that have copies now to know that the book is one that 
they will not easily replace if they lose it. 

For the rest 1 will restrain my animadversational mind qua 

Irou, but qua myself I shall write some few pages following your 
etter point by point and seeing how my rejoinders contrast with 
your objections. Dr. Garnett, who is evidently very much 
upset by my book, wrote me a long twelve-page letter on the 
subject flinging at my head everything that I had weighed and 
been unable to accept. Evidently he did not much care what he 
said, but held that any stick would be good enough to beat me 
with. To such letters I return whatever reply may seem most 
likely to bring the correspondence to an end. Your letter 
evidently expresses what you bona fide think and is therefore 
very valuable to me as showing what will probably strike other 
highly capable readers as well as yourself. . . . 

It is impossible that you should come to agree with me. You 
repeatedly speak of the Sonnets as ^^a poem," /./. an organic 
whole. In this case no one sonnet can be without its influence 
on the others nor without being more or less covered by others. 
This view I cannot, and am sure that I never shall, accept ; it is 
obvious therefore that, until it is settled which of us is right on 
this head, we might talk long enough infructuously. 

[Robert Bridges had written : '^ My own key to the Sonnets 

xxxviii CAGING THOUGHTS 315 

has been that Shakespeare saw that ideal love could be heightened 1^00 
by dissociation from sex and, feeling for W. H. something of Aet 64 
this ideal love, he sought to give it poetic expression."] 

Secondly [continued Butler] your key to the Sonnets is all 
very pretty for an elderly, or rather old, gentleman of 64 like 
myself, or for one who^ hke vou, is still a good few years ofF 
21. IV i can imagine that healthy, vigorous-minded young men 
of 21 can and do feel in this way, but I seem to hear ^^ Venus 
laughing from the Skies " as I read that part of your letter. 

[Robert Bridges had exclaimed: '^Why did Shakespeare 
never edit his own works? Why did Socrates, Aristotle, and 
Christ show the same indifference ? "] 

You ask [continued Butler], Why did Shakespeare not edit 
his works ? I thought there was much force in what Nisbet 
urged, a year or two ago,^ that Shakespeare's retirement to 
Stratford was compulsory or, at any rate, on doctor's orders in 
consequence of paralvsis or nervous breakdown which rfpdered 
further literary exertion irksome. As for Socrates and Christ, 
they neither of them wrote. I know nothing about Aristotle, 
but have we any reason to suppose that he did not leave his 
writings, or at any rate some of them, finished ? I know 
nothing of Aristotelian literature. Magnis componere parvum, 
I have for some months been almost exclusively occupied in 
^^ editing my remains" and have several more months' work 
before I shall be satisfied that I have done the best I can for 
myself and my executors. 

There I When you have told me which of my books I can 
supply you with, you shall have peace. — Yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

Butler frequently did what he here threatens about 
his animadversational mind qua himself. He used to 
say he never could form an opinion on a subject until he 
had captured his volatile thoughts and caged them in a 
note. This enabled him to make up his mind, and he 
was then ready to write a letter, or perhaps a book, or 
else to leave the subject alone. 

The Bishop of London {Dr. Creighion) to Butler. 

FULHAlf Palacb, S.W. 
Jan 6, 1900. 

Dear Butler — I have read your Shakespeare's Sonnets with 
much interest. You have done all that can be done in the 

' Cf. Tkt Insanity ofGtnhu, by J. F. NUbcL 6th edition. London, 1912. 

3i6 REVIEWERS xxxvm 

1900 name of common sense ; but people like literary problems and 
Act. 64 they refuse to admit that a poet is a man and records all his 
experiences. Nowadays we write for publicity and only give so 
much of ourselves as we choose. But in an earlier and less 
sophisticated time a man revelled in expressing what he felt and 
was more interested in the expression than in considering how 
he would look as regards the subject matter. 

Aeneas Sylvius when he became Pope Pius 11. neither 
attempted to suppress nor to apologise for early indiscretions in 
literature. — Yours very sincerely, M. London : 

Butler to Femand Henry. 

22 Jan. 1900 — I am glad the reviews of my book have left a 
more or less fevourable impression upon you — my friends are 
dissati^ed with them ; I am neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, the 
only criticism I care two straws about is criticism which reveak 
to me a mistake \ happily so far (except in the matter of the 
Rev. £. Malone) I have seen no objection brought forward 
which gives me any uneasiness.^ 

I am sorry your French critics have treated you in a 
superficial manner, but I have alwa)rs observed that it is only 
the shallow books that are received with a chorus of applause. 
The critics can understand these at once ; but as for being at 
any pains to study what requires sustained attention — ^is it to be 
expected of them? Besides — do you write reviews yourself? 
If you do, by all means let the fact be known in literary circles. 
The reviewers themselves sometimes write books and, if they 
know that you may be able to belaud them, they will belaud 
you ; otherwise if you write on a subject of which they know 
nothing, if they deign to notice you at all, they will make it 
quite plain that they have not thought it worth while to read 
what you have said. The art of reading is being rapidly lost ; 
there is nothing in journalism now but skim and a show of 

I fear you must not look for much sympathy here in 
England. It is as though we should expect the French to 
receive warmly an English translation of Moliire. You have 
Moliire himself and indeed I envy you ; it is only a very few 
who would occupy themselves with an English translation of 
his works. The Athenaeumy Spectator^ Blackwood^ Saturday 
RevieWj Fortnightly Review^ National Observer and many other 
journals have had my book and so far have not paid the 

^ Butler headed chapter iii. of hit book '*The Rev. Edmond Malone," that 
inadvertently usarping episcopal powen and ordaining the Shakespeare commentator. 


smallest attention to it beyond putting it (some of them, but not 1900 
all) in their list of ^* Books received.*' English papers never ^^^^ 
acknowledge a book which they do not review otherwise than by 
putting it in their list of books received — they are so flooded 
with books that the^ would have to keep a clerk for the 
purpose. I often think that it is more or less infra dig. on 
my part to send my books to one half of the papers, but my 
publishers say that they had better be sent, and I do as other 
people do ; but I am not fond of our English journalism. 

I do not wonder at the Sonnets remaining your great pre- 
occupation. They are the most wonderfid things, to me, in all 
literature. You ask, ^ Can we conclude from the general spirit 
of his Sonnets that Shakespeare has intended and proclaims the 
superiority of friendship over love ? " 

I do not for a moment believe that Shakespeare intended to 
proclaim anything whatever by the Sonnets taken as a whole. 
They are not a whole ; they are a number of units or strings of 
units ; they were dictated by the feelings of the moment and the 
circumstances of the moment, but there is no one idea running 
through them save what was running through every day of 
Shakespeare's life, Le. his passion for Mr. W. H. and his gradual 
estrangement from him. I cannot think that Shakespeare had 
any arriire pensfe when he wrote any single one of them ; he 
meant just neither more nor less than what he said. Sometimes, 
no doubt, he was telling lies, but he meant to teU them and he has 
told them ; generally, however, he is speaking naked truth, and 
the more his words are taken au pied de la lettre the better they 
will be understood. 

Jan. 23 — ^To repeat. In the letters which you are good 
enough to encourage me to inflict upon yourself there is such 
continuity as is dictated by continuity of time, qua both myself 
and you, and by consequent continuity of both subject and 
character, but there is no organised structure as of a scheme pre- 
conceived and its consequent execution. I hold this view so 
strongly that I immediately reject any conclusions that I perceive 
to be based on the view that Shakespeare's Sonnets had any back- 
bone of purpose running through them other than the expression 
of his own feelings at the moment, or such desire to serve his 
friend's real or supposed interests as the circumstances of the time 
dictated. I believe half the mistakes that have been made about 
the Sonnets to be due to their having been regarded as an 
organised whole and not as a series of occasional letters. 

My dear Sir, take Sonnet 23 ; now can it conceivably be 
taken as an attempt to show that friendship is superior to love ? 
It says that Shakespeare wanted something which he is pleased to 
call " the perfect ceremony of love's rite," but which he cannot 


1900 bring his tongue to utter in words, being afraid to trust his fnend. 
Aet. 64 This is what it says and what it means. 

I disapprove, as we all must, but I am not going to hold up 
hands in holy horror ; all depends upon age and upon the 
conduct of the person whom Shakespeare was addressing. If 
Shakespeare was very yoimg and had been lured (as I make no 
question he had been) by a comely, heartless youth who was 
amusing himself at Shakespeare's expense, the sonnet is regrettable. 
I will not say that it would have been better if it had not been 
preserved, for I am by no means sure that we ought not to be 
very thankful that we have it in evidence ; I admit, however, that 
it is regretuble. But if written by a very young man who was 
being lured, I^ for my part, find it venial, ts written by a man of 
20, it is not venial. Hence the extreme importance of dating the 
Sonnets. All that we must think of Shakespeare must be 
tinctured by the conclusions we arrive at as to his age at the 
time he wrote the Sonnets and, though I trust that I have 
not allowed my passionate eagerness to defend Shakespeare to 
influence my judgement one way or the other, I am satisfied that I 
am right in regarding them as the first things that Shakespeare 
wrote and dating them 1 585-1 588. 

Take again Sonnets 57, 58. How can they be tortured into 
an attempt to proclaim the superiority of friendship over love ? 
They express bitter chagrin at his friend's not coming to see him, 
while Shakespeare was watching the clock, hour after hour, for 
his coming. This is what they appear to say, and I regard it 
as in a high degree perilous to try and make more out of them 
than what appears upon the &ce of them. And so with all the 

As regards Gerald Massey, I cannot take him to be a man of 
any weight. If you merely sent your book to him, without a 
letter accompanying it, he would not acknowledge it. I should 
myself acknowledge it in such a case, but when I send copies of 
my book unaccompanied by a letter I never receive an acknowledge- 
ment. If you write along with the book you should receive an 
answer. The answers I commonly receive are to the effect that 
the writer has received my book and will read it with much 
interest. I never hear anything more, and make it a rule not to 
give copies to anyone except those who have sent me some work 
of their own, or to personal friends, or to some few who write and 
ask for it — which shows that they want it. 

Still, I think I should write, if I were you, to Professor Dowden, 
Buona Vista, Killiney, Ireland, and send him a copy. He is 
better than most of them ; but you will have already seen that I 
reject anything that has been done since Malone in 1794. He is 
the King of Shakespeare Commentators of the old school, but no 

xxxvin COMMON SENSE 319 

longer up-to-date — still he is a better man than any of us. I very 1900 
often agree with Dowden on points of detail, but he talks a good Act. 64 
deal of nonsense, too, and my dates are cataclysmic if it be once 
admitted that they are well founded. As I have already said, 
everything depends upon the question of the earlier or later date 
which is to be assigned to the Sonnets. Every page of your 
preface would require alteration if the earlier date is accepted — I 
advise you, therefore, not to accept it. 

If, on the other hand, you accept it, really I cannot do better 
for you as regards the history of Soqnet-criticism than refer you to 
my own book in which I did the best of which I was capable, I 
omitted nothing that I thought deserved attention. 

If you adhere to the later date, your introduction may be very 
well allowed to stand as a careful r^um£ of the most reputed 
authors. I do not see Malone mentioned, nor yet Howard 
Staunton, many of whose emendations I have adopted. He wrote 
no special work on the Sonnets but published Shakespeare's com- 
plete works in 1864. His emendations were communicated to 
Thi Jthenaeum, I knew him slightly and thought very highly of 
him. I have plenty more to say but no more paper. 

Robert Bridges to Butler. 

25 Jan, 1900 — I am very sorry indeed that you have been 
so clever as to make up so good (or bad) a story ; -but I willingly 
recognise that no one has brought the matter into so clear a light 
as you have done. You are always perspicuous and nothing but 
good can come of such conscientious work as yours. Still you 
must remember that you proved Darwin to be an arch^mpostor ; 
and there was no h\i\t in your logic. It is not the logic which 
&ils in this book. 

Butkr to Robert Bridges. 

3 Feb, 1900. 

My dear Bridges — It is never kind to answer letters at once 
(unless under necessity) when the sender has sickness in his house. 
"And therefore have I slept" in my reply to vours of Jan, 25th. 

Neither will I reply now. After a full two years, during 
which I had the Sonnets in my mind almost night and day, I 
formed my conclusions concerning them and I verily believe that 
I have, to quote the Bishop of London's words to me in writing 
about my book, "done all that can be done in the name of 
common sense." I am sorry that you dislike my theory ; I have 
made it quite clear that I do not like it myself, but I believe it to 

320 " MY PRECIOUS WORKS " xxxvin 

1900 be sound and I believe also that those whose moral support I 
Ace 64 alone look to will in the end feel that I have done a pious act in 
writing what I have written. There ! 

And now let me beg you to repair an omission — I don't 
think this is quite a correct way of stating the case, but let it 
pass — ^in your last letter. You were to tell me what lacunae in 
your collection of my precious works it may be my privilege to 
supply — There again 1 I do not believe one can supply a lacuna, 
can one ? but let it pass. Anyhow, tell me which of my books I 
may send you and believe me with every good wish for the 
speedy return of your household to perfect health — ^Yours very 
truly, S. Butler. 

Butler to Robert Bridges. 

6 Fib. 1900— -I cannot supply a copy of the first edition of 
ErrwhoHy but heard the other day of its having been seen on a 
second-hand bookstall marked '^6d. very readable,'' If I see 
one myself at that figure I will purchase it and send it on. 

As you very well know, I am a prose man and, except Homer 
and Shakespeare, I have read absolutely nothing of English 
poetry and very little of English prose. What with music (and 
I am much occupied with the orchestration of Ulysses) and 
reading what I must read for my own suUects, and writing, I 
have no time for general reading and am far more ignorant of 
your poetry — beyond a strong residuary impression that you 
stand at the top of the tree among living poets — than I can 
easily excuse myself for being. If, then, your books are your 
own, kindly send me enough to inform me more particularly, but 
if they are publishers' boo^ do not send me any : I pledge you 
my word I will get them out at the British Museum, where I 
go daily, and will read, mark, learn and inwardly dis^est them. 

You say you have many books. I have, I verily believe, the 
smallest library of any man in London who is by way of being 
literary. I receive a goodish few books from Italy in the course 
of the year, and I dways give them at once to the British 
Museum, which I consider my private library and where I alone 
do any reading at all except the papers which, in these days, 
cannot be studied under from an hour to an hour and a half a 

By way of refinement I am going to the Grand Pantomime 
at Islington this evening and heartily hope that it may be amusing 
as well as vulgar. 

A passage in the foregoing letter will make it dear 
why Mr. Higgs, in chapter i. of Erewhon Revisited^ had 


recently heard . that Erewhon had ** been seen on a second- ' 1900 
hand bookstall marked * 6d. very readable/ " ^^ ^* 

Butler and I went to Harwich from Saturday to 
Monday early in February 1900, taking with us some of 
the books which Mr. Bridges had sent. 

Butkr io Robert Bridges. 

14 Feb, 1900. 

My dear Bridges — Of course we were of a mind that they 
were written ^ in polished form of well refinid pen " and we were 
especially impressed with the beauty and perfect workmanship of 
^'Eros and Psyche" which carried both of us with it from 
beginning to end. The residuary impression, which I had 
already formed by having read extracts, was fully confirmed, and 
we had no question that we were reading poetry of a very high 
order ; but as regards myself, you know as well as 1 do that I am 
not a poetically minded man, and I am afraid I must admit that 
the same holds good as regards Jones. I have never read and 
never, I am afraid, shall read a line of Keats or Shelley or 
Coleridge or Wordsworth except such extracts as I occasionally 
see in Rojral Academy Catalogues. I have read The Idylls of the. 
King and I do not like them. I have never read a word of 
Browning — save as above. The poets of the day are names to 
me and nothing more. I have read '^ Venus and Adonis" and 
^Lucrece" but neither of them kindles any warmth within 
me — admiration for marvellous workmanship, but nothing 
more. I do assure you that if I were told and satisfied that 
"Eros and Psyche" was a third poem by the same hand as 
"Venus and Adonis" and "Lucrece" I should have felt no 
incongruity, except as regards the hr greater degree of classical 
knowledge. It abounds in "precious phrase by all the Muses 
filed " ; but there is no concealing the fact that it is the 
business, practical side of literature and not the poetical and 
imaginative — I mean literature applied to the solving of some 
difficult problem which may be usefully solved — that alone fires 
me with hot desire to devour and imitate it. That, and the 
battering down of falsehood to the utmost of my poor ability. 

How then can I criticise and appraise your poems as I am 
fully convinced they deserve to be appraised? Besides, who 
can appraise contemporary literature ? It is most certain that 
neither you nor I can form even an approximate idea of what 
our respective literarv positions will be fifty years after we are 
dead ; for it would oe mere affectation on the part of either of 
us to doubt that a position of some sort will be awarded to us — 
to you as a poet, to me as a prose writer. There lives not the 

VOL. II y 


looo P^i* instance, in the Ntro the versification is beyond praise — 

Act 64 easy, dignified, and in accordance with the best literanr canons. 
Take the speech of Thrasea lines 50-75, it is admirable in con- 
ception and execution. The prose dialogue, too, is excellent in 
sc. ii. (except that I do not like ^Niobby**), sc. iii. and sc. iv. 
Two speeches of Seneca, nothing could be better. I do not like 
^ Ipng-nosed cad " early in Act IL, just as I did not like ^ the 
governour** and "all's serene** and "Pam** for Pamphilus in 
The Feast of Bacchus. But these are small blemishes. 

I will not eo through the play, but I assure you I found it 
abound with finely-thought and finely-worded passages. So I 
find King Lear and Othello abound with g;ems of the purest 
lustre, but I do not like either of these plays and never read 
• them — for the horror and repulsiveness of the story. The fault 
of being unable to delight in these great masterpieces, or rather 
of being repelled by them, is in mysdff not in them. As my old 
and deplored fiiend Miss Savage used to tell me, I have a tete 
bornfe (I think t6te is feminine, is it not ?) and unless I can take 
a warm, sympathetic interest in the main characters of any work, 
I do not like it. 

So with The Return of Ulysses. Saturated as I am with the 
Odyssey I do not like having my conception of Eumaeus and 
Ulysses treated in such cataclysmic fashion. When you stick to 
the Odyssey (which I am sure you will not henceforth speak of as 
Homer's) I am thoroughly with you. Would that it had pleased 
heaven to make you translate the whole Odyssey as you have 
translated or closely followed it in your lines 1700 to 1800 
(thereabouts). Believe me, I want nothing better. I should 
never have done the work into prose had such a translation 
existed or had I been gifted with that power of poetic expression 
which I know myself to lack. 

There ! I shall read all your plays from end to end and 
value them in spite of my conviction that I shall not probably be 
in full sympathy with any one of them. I shall also read the 
Introduction to Keats, but I have already told you that Keats 
is a name to me and nothing more ; if he was ever going to be 
mor^ some magnet would have drawn us together before now ; 
and 1 assure you I am beginning to feel that my period of active 
work is manifestly drawing to a close. 

Thank you for pointing out the silly slip in contents of 
IL Bk. viii. Brain fag can alone explain it I am not surprised 
that you do not find the Iliad readable as a consecutive poem. 
I do, in spite of considerable tracts that would surprise me by 
their perfunctoriness if I had not fully persuaded myself that 
Homer wrote them perfunctorily on purpose and with an eye to 
an audience whom he had to flatter but whom he hated and 


despised. He was, I am confident, as much bored by them (but 1900 
for the amusement it gave him to hoodwink his audience) as we ^^^' ^4 
arc. — Believe me, with repeated thanks, Yours verj truly, 

S. Butler. 

In The Athenaeum of 24th March 1 900 the following 
letter appeared as part of a correspondence which was then 
proceeding about. the phrase **onlie begetter*' used in the 
aedication of Shakespeare's Sonnets. 

Butler to the Editor of The Athenaeum. 

Canon Ainger in your issue of March 17 contends that the 
primary meaning of to beget is to bring about. It follows that 
the primary meaning of begetter should be bringer about. 

Thorpe's dedicatory address begins : " To the onlie begetter 
of these insuing Sonnets Mr. W. H." Few will raise much 
objection to imderstanding these words as ^To Mr. W. H. the 
only bringer about of these ensuing Sonnets.** 

Canon Ainger continues : ^^ In Mr. Lee's interpretation of 
the famous phrase, W. H. is addressed as the man who ^ brought 
about ' the publication of the Sonnets ; and it certainly seems to 
me that such explanation is perfectly legitimate." 

Where is the legitimacy of smuggling in ^^the publication 
of ? To bring about the Sonnets is one thing, to bring about 
the publication of the Sonnets is another. S. Butler. 


1900 — Part II 

1900 Mr. Fuller Maitland had written a magazine article 
Act. 64 ^f ^hich he sent the MS. to Butler for his advice as to 
how it could be improved, several editors having refused 
it ; Butler recommended that it should be shortened. 

Bufkr to J. A. Fuller Maitland. 

29 March 1900 — I know how I kick when Waddington 
makes me cut out bars, but reflection always convinces me that he 
is right, and I have altogether jettisoned 22 bars out of 88 in the 
song on which I am now engaged [for T]ly55€5\ I believe in nine 
cases out of ten the pnining-knife is the moct effective remedy 
whether in writing or music 

All the rest of the article seemed to me charming — I mean 
the poor man's verses about England and 75 per cent of the 
proverbs are racy and quite (to borrow a phrase I have seen in 
musical criticisms in The Times) ^^ acceptable." I believe a litde 
cutting down is all that is wanted. 

The reader should perhaps be reminded that Mr. 
Fuller Maitland was himself the musical critic for The 
TimeSj and that the Waddington who made Butler cut put 
bars was the Mr. Sydney Pearce Waddington who, since 
Rockstro*s death, had been helping us with Ulysses 
(ante, p. 231). 

On 30th January 1 9CXD my mother died at Nice. By 
her will she left me sufficiently provided for, and there- 
upon Butler stopped the allowance he had been making 
to me. I proposed to repay him the amount I had 




received from him during the thirteen years since his 1900 
fether's death, but he would not hear of it. Before his ^^*' ^* 
death, however, I executed a covenant that my executors 
should, after my death, repay the amount to him, or to 
his estate. 

In March I went to Nice to stay with my sisters, who 
were making arrangements to give up my mother's 
apartment there. Monsieur Fernand Henry came over 
from his residence at Le Muy, not far from Nice, to 
lunch with us. He was considering what English poem 
he should translate into French to follow his translation 
of the Sonnets, and I gave him a copy of FitzGerald's 
Rubiiydt of Omar Khayyim for his consideration. He 
was so much pleased with it that he started at once to 
turn it into French verse, and his version was published 
in 1903. 

On 1 3th April I left my sisters and went to Genoa, 
where I met Butler who had come by his usual route, 
stopping at Basel and Casale. We went together through 
Pisa to Rome where we saw Peppino Pagoto, who was 
there doing his military service. We met the Rev. E. H. 
Burtt, the English chaplain at Genoa, with whom Butler 
'made the excursion to Mycenae (ante, p. 213). We went 
to Segni, Salerno, Paestum, and by train to Reggio, 
crossed to Messina and stayed at Taormina about a week. 
Mario Puglisi came up from Aci Reale to spend the day 
with us and to talk about the Odyssey. 

On 2nd May we went to Siracusa and crossed to 
Malta. It was exceedingly rough and I was very ill ; we 
arrived in Valletta harbour soon after midnight, and it was 
all I could do, even with Butler's help, to crawl out of the 
cabin and into the custom-house. 

" Are you a British subject ? " inquired the officer. 

" Yes," I replied, ** you wouldn't think it to look at 
me, but I am.'"' 

Whereupon Butler, who was not a bit ill, burst out 
laughing ; but I saw nothing to laugh at. 

We spent a week in Malta and saw Hagiar Kim, and 
the other early stone remains in the island and in Gozo. 
We returned to Siracusa and went through the island to 


1900 Palermo and thence to Calatafimi, where Ingroja met us 
^^ ^* and took us to the Albergo Centrale where we always 
stayed. One does not, or course, expect to find in a 
town so remote from the track of the tourist all the 
luxury and profusion of a modern caravansenu in Rome, 
Paris or London. Occasionally a commercial traveller 
puts up at the albei^o ; or the architect who comes to 
examine and report upon the condition of the temple or of 
the monument recording Garibaldi's victory ; and every 
now and then some one may stay the night on his way to 
Segesta. Nevertheless we always found everything perfect. 
Moreover, supposing that the hotel had any drawbacks, 
we should have found more than sufficient compensation in 
making the acqu^ntance of Donna Maria and Don Paolo, 
two of the most charming old people imaginable. She must 
have been a beautiful woman in her youth, and when we 
told her so, as many did, she used to agree with a smile. 
It might not perhaps be so easy to come to any very 
general agreement as to precisely when she was at her prime. 
She told us she was three times twenty, plus eight, and 
Don Paolo four times twenty, minus three ; but, according 
to some, she had been saying this for years, and must have 
repeated it at least as often as Garibaldi repeated ** Roma 
o Morte ! " People who can neither read nor write, and 
who give the result of their calculations on their fingers, 
are perhaps not the most accurate arithmeticians. Ingroja, 
however, assured us that she was really not far out. 

She was a Mrs. Quickly alia Siciliana, with a good deal 
of La Martina of Civiasco about her. When we first 
knew her she still possessed a tooth — a long one in front ; 
this year the tooth was gone ; it had fallen out and she 
was doing as well as she could with none. By way of 
comforting her for her loss Butler, thinking of Mrs. Jupp 
in chapter bd. of The Way of All Fleshy went so far 
as to say : 

^* Si puo suonare una bella melodia sul violino 

She acknowledged the compliment with a smile, but 
was disappointed that she could not persuade him to go 


It must have been this year that, as we were walking 1900 
about the town with Ingroja, he called our attention to ^ ^* 
the inscription over the gateway of the Ospedale Lo 
Truglio, saying that the words would encourage the 
passer-by to visit the sick ; whereupon Butler ssdd : 

"Well then, that won't do for me. Now, Jones, 
please to remember that when I am ill I am not to be 
brought here. Let's look at the words : ^ Infirmus eram 
et visitasti me.' Oh ! I don't mind that ; that is 
not an invitation, it is a reproach ; it does not 
mean * Please come in,' it means, * This must not occur 

And he repeated the inscription, filling up the 
harmonies in a tone of such stern disapproval that it 
would have broken any one's heart to have deserved the 

We intended this year to drive to Trapani, but 
Ingroja would not allow it, although we had done so 
before. This year it was not considered safe. Once, at 
Girgenti, the landlord of the hotel would not let us drive 
to Sciacca ; and once, when Butler went from Catania to 
Palermo through the island, soldiers were sent in the train, 
but that was because a deputato was travelling. In 1898, 
when we were at Taormina, there were strikes, and 
soldiers were sent to keep order ; and the same year we 
crossed from Messina to Naples and there were prisoners 
in the steamer. With these exceptions, we never saw any 
indication that Sicily was a country particularly liable to 
disturbances, nor of its being a place in which one was 
more liable to be robbed of one's watch and chain than 
one is in London. 

At Trapani we saluted all our friends, then returned 
to Palermo and went by sea to Naples. We were in 
Rome on the 20th of May and heard there of the Relief 
of Mafeking. We sketched for a week at Siena and for 
another week at Sammichele, in the vaUey of Susa, which 
was full of cuckoos crying to one another all day long, 
major thirds, minor thirds, fourths and even seconds. 
We then called at Casale-Monferrato and Basel and 
returned to London on 12th June. 



1900 In the Museum at Palermo there are two pictures 

Act. 64 representing King Ferdinand visiting the tunny fishery at 
Solunto, near Palermo. In one of them a boat is passing 
the King's barge and a gentleman in the boat is saluting 
His Majesty. This gentleman resembles Lord Nelson. 
We had seen the picture over and over again, and always 
spoke of the gentleman as Nelson. . This year Butler 
determined to settle the question of whether it could be 
so. The costumes were about right, but the gentleman 
apparently had not lost an arm, still that might be 
poetical license ; and then, at what date did Nelson lose 
his arm ? and which arm ? and what was the date of the 
picture ? and how could he find out whether Nelson and 
Ferdinand were both in Palermo at the season of the 
tunny fishing.? and if so, when.? He had discovered 
portraits of Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, of Leonardo da 
Vinci, of Tabachetti ; if he could add to his gallery a 
hitherto undiscovered portrait of Nelson it would be 
another feather in his cap. 

We had had some conversation with Ingroja about 
the picture and, on our return to London, Butler wrote 
asking him to make investigations into questions that 
could not be settled by referring to easily accessible 
printed books in the British Museum. Ingroja threw 
himself into the affair with enthusiasm, went to Palermo, 
saw Commendatore Salinas at the Museum there, consulted 
authorities as to the dates, and wrote down his conclusions 
in long letters which we had the greatest difficulty in 
deciphering. After tabulating the information Butler 
reluctantly came to the conclusion that the facts were 
against him and that the likeness to Nelson must have 
been accidental. So he did not have to write a book 
about it. 

Butler to the Dean of Bristol. 

% Aug, 1900. 
Dear Sir — Some time ago my cousin, Mr. [Philip] Worsley, 
of Rodney Lodge^ Clifton, told me that you had spoken, and 
also printed something about my book Erewhon. He said you 
had taken it seriously and he seemed surprised. I, on the other 
hand, was surprised (and, I may add, shocked) that anyone 



could doubt my having been serious — very much so— in my 1900 
own way. Act. 64 

My cousin promised to send me a copy of what you had 
written, but he has not been able to procure one, and in a letter 
which I received from him this morning he recommends me to 
apply to yourself, which I accordingly do. 

I am the more anxious to read your criticism, be it adverse 
or the contrary, because I am almost immediately about to make 
a second journey to Erewhon in the person of my supposed son 
and to report sundry developments. 

With much apology for troubling you. Believe me, dear Sir, 
Yours faithfully, S. Butler. 

Dean Pigou, thinking that Butler would be the best 
judge, sent him a copy of a paper he had read " On the 
Relation of Disease to Crime " in which he had referred 
to Erewhon. Butler's views on the analogy between 
crime and disease, as set forth in Erewhon^ were still 
being treated, for the most part, as fantastic paradox ; 
nevertheless there were some even then, and there are 
more every year, who understand and agree with him 

Butler to Lord Grimthorpe. 

13 Jug, 1900— I am putting my complete translation of the 
Odyssey through the press, and propose to adnotate the hanging 
of the maids by Tdemachus as by the enclosed copy which you 
need not return. 

I think you gave me permission to use your letter a twelve- 
month ago, but I prefer to send you exactly what I propose to 
say. If you wish anything altered, kindly let me know j if the 
thing may stand as it is, pray do not trouble to write ; I shall 

Lord Grimthorpe had been ill, but was now better 
and writing to the papers about an '* idiotic phantom 
deanery '* and a new weathercock made of bell-metal with 
a piece of agate inside the cock. He gave his consent, 
and Butler inserted his remarks about the hanging of the 
maids on p. 298 of the translation of the Odyssey. 

In August Hans Faesch was in Europe agsdn, and I 
went to stay with him and his family on the Rigi- 
Scheidegg. Butler joined us there. One very rainy day 


332 THE PREISUED xxxix 

1900 the guests, who were mostly Swiss and Germans, assembled 
Act 64 jjj ^jjg salon and there was music. Many of the guests 
sang and played extremely well and none of the music 
was trivial. Presently a girl of about 14, accompanied 
quite sufficiently well by her aunt or governess, was set 
to play on the violin some arrangement of the " Preislied ** 
from the MeisterHnger. The piece was so far beyond 
her powers that the performance would have been 
painful if we had not felt that we were merely giving the 
child an opportunity of playing before some kind of 

'*That is very beautiful music she is playing," said 
Butler to me ; " what is it ? " 

So intent was his mind upon *the essential meaning of 
the composer that he was able to n^lect the unessential 
defects of the performance ; just as Handel walked 
through the absurdity of the words that were given him 
and seized upon and set to music the sentiment which he 
recognised as underlying them. Butler had heard the 
" Preislied " sung by Edward Lloyd at a Richter Concert 
some time before, but he had forgotten the fact ; never- 
theless the music was, I suppose, not absolutely new to 
his unconscious self. He must have been the only person 
in the room who derived any pleasure from the child's 
performance. When I was compiling the Note-Books I 
remembered this incident as an illustration of 

Conveyancing and the Arts 

In conveyancing the ultimately potent thing is not the deed 
but the invisible intention and desire of the parties to the deed ; 
the written document itself is only evidence of this intention and 
desire. So it is with music : the written notes are not the main 
thing, nor is even the heard performance \ these are only evidences 
of an internal, invisible emotion that can be felt but never fully 
expressed. And so it is with the words of literature and with the 
forms and colours of painting. 

Butler went to Wassen where he sketched while I 
visited various Swiss friends and made a short tour with 
Hans Faesch, We were both* back in London by the 
end of September. 

xxxix FERNAND HENRY 333 

Fernand Henry had finished his translation of the 1900 
Rubiiyit and proposed to dedicate it to me. He sent ^^^^ 
the dnft of lus dedication for Butler's opinion. 

Butler to Fernand Henry. 

I October 1900. 

My dear M. Henry . . . Nothing, it seems to me, could 
be better or more gracefully done than the dedication as it stands, 
and I have no suggestions to make. 

As regards your queries, ^Mon cher ami '' is quite right. 

Jones is plain ^^ Henry Festing Jones, Esq.,*' and nothing 
more. The '^ Esq.'* is not de rigueur, but I see I have put it in in 
my dedications to other people. 

^Si haute, si grave, si intens6ment psycholodque ** [applied 
to la po^sie anglaise]. By '^ psychologique " I presume you 
mean ^ dealing with mental rather than with physical ideals." If 
so, the wora may stand. Otherwise I am not sure that I 
apprehend the exact meaning you attach to it. 

^Si nuancje et si fbrtement condens^" is quite right [applied 
to la pens^ de FitzGeraldJ. 

The only word about which I am in doubt is ^ fresque " as 
applied to a poem which was written and rewritten more than 
even twice ; whereas a fresco must be done without any 
pentimento, each day's task being finished once for all then and 
there $ but this is a very small criticism and your nation has wisely 
taught us that ^ le mieux est I'ennemi du bien." I might add, in 
words with which you are indeed fiuniliar. 

Were it not sinful, then, striving to mend. 
To mar the subject that before was well ? 

(Sonnet 103.) 

So let ^ fi-esque " stand. 

Allow me, now, to congratulate you upon the completion of a 
task the arduous nature of which has been explained to me by 
Jones. Alas I I have never read FitzGerald's poem — it seems 
to me that I have hardly read anything at all — but, by Heaven, I 
will borrow it fi-om Jones and read it. As for your translation, 
may it be crowned, as I have no doubt it will be, by that august 
bocy which did like honour to your earlier translation ! 

Jones tells me, to my great regret, that there is some doubt 
about your coming to London. I trust that your visit will not, 
at any rate, be very long delayed. As for me,I have just put my 
Odyssey through the press, and this, I very well know, will not tie 
crowned with public approbation. ^^At mihi plaudo," as I am 
afraid I am only too apt to do. 

334 "SEARCHER OF SOULS" xxxix 

1900 ^'Searcher of souls " I am tempted to exclaim, in words which 

Aet« 64 I will venture to quote in full as thinking it likely that you may 
not have seen them : 

Searcher of souls, 70a who in heaven abide, 
To whom the secrets of all hearts are open. 
Though I do lie to all the world beside. 
From me to you no falsehood shall be spoken. 
Cleanse me not. Lord, I say, from secret sin. 
But from those faults which he who runs may see ; 
'Tis these that torture me, O Lord begin 
With them and let the hidden vices be. 
If you must cleanse these too, at any rate 
Deal with the seen sins first, 'tis only reason. 
They being so gross, to let the others wait 
The leisure of some more convenient season. 

And cleanse not all, even then ; leave me a few, 
I would not be, not quite, so pure as you. 

One of my sins, which even the fastest runners have not 
fiiiled to note, is a tendency to be inordinately well satisfied with 
my own work. 

And so, my dear Sir, with much apology for having inflicted 
so long a letter upon you, pray believe me, Yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

Butler was not familiar with the writings of Voltaire, 
so he probably did not know that among the Contes en 
Vers is one, " La B£gueule» Conte Moral," which begins : 

Dans ses Merits, un sage I tali en 

Dit que le mieuz est Tennemi du bien. 

And in the DicHonnaire Philosophique the article 
** Art Dramatique '* ends with this quotation : 

II meglio i V inimico del bene. 

I do not know whether we may conclude from this 
that the saying is of Italian origin, but if Butler had 
thought so he would have been even more apt to quote it 
than he was, and he quoted it very often. 

There are a few unimportant variations in the sonnet 
as written in Butler's letter and as given in The Note- 
Books. Probably he wrote it in the letter from memory. 

In October Butler received a letter from William 
RoUeston who was on a visit to England and proposed a 


meeting. Rolleston was the "exceedingly humane and 1900 
judicious bullock-driver " at the station where Butler put ^®** ^* 
up for the night on one of his excursions when looking for 
country in New Zealand (ante, I. p. 78). I regret that I 
have not found anything showing for certain that they met 
and I do not remember, though my impression is that they 
did. If so, it must have been a meeting full of strange 
echoes recalling half-forgotten incidents of their youth. 

On the 1 8th October 1900 we received the first copy 
of The Odyssey rendered into English prose for the use of 
those who cannot read the original. The motto on the title 
page is : 

From some points of view it is impossible to take the 
Odyssey seriously enough ; from others it is impossible to take it 
seriously at all ; but from whichever point of view it be regarded, 
its beauty is alike unsurpassable. 

{Private letter to the author.) 

In his translation of the Odyssey he followed those 
principles which he laid down for himself in the preface 
to his translation of the Iliad (ante, p. 298). 

In October Fernand Henry came to London for a few 
days. Butler took him to the British Museum and showed 
him, among other things, the first edition of FitzGerald*s 
Rubiiyit. My sister Lilian had left Nice and established 
herself in a flat at Hampstead ; we got her to invite us 
and also Fernand Henry to dine with her there. 

Signora Coppo, from the Rosa Rossa at Casale, was in 
London with her son Angelo, and we made use of the flat 
again to entertain them. Butler also had them to dine at 
the Holborn Restaurant, but a restaurant is less interesting 
than a private house for a foreigner who wants to see 
something of the life of the people. 

In November Hans Faesch was in London, to make 
preparations for returning to Vicn-tiane in the Shan 
States, and again we used the flat to entertain him. Early 
in December we saw him oflF from Waterloo Station for 
Havre en route for Vien-tiane ; and this was the last 
time we saw him. 

Some years before this, at the house of the Fuller 


1900 Maitlands, we had met Miss Edith Sichel ; we had been 
^^ ^4 to her house and she and Mrs. Fuller Maitland had been 
to tea with Butler and also with me. Miss Edith Sichel 
knew Mr. Augustine Birrell and he de^red to make 
Butler's acquaintance. After a few attempts a meeting 
was arranged at Miss Sichel's house for one afternoon in 
December. I was also invited and arrived first. Then 
came Mr. and Mrs. Birrell. He recognised me for we 
had been undergraduates together at Trinity Hall, 
Cambridge. He had also seen my name in some of 
Butler's books and had been told he was to meet me ; but 
he had not realised that the Jones in the books Was the 
Jones he remembered at Gunbridge. When my identity 
had been settled Butler came. He was never at his best 
if he felt he was expected to show off, and on this occasion 
he was out of health and tired. Altogether I am afraid 
the meeting was not everything that Miss Sichel had 
hoped it would be. Butler scarcely spoke, and Birrell 
nobly sacrificed himself and, to avert a complete fiasco, 
took matters into his own hands. He gave us an account 
of how he had gone to Sheffield to lecture, and was 
entertained in the house of some wealthy people in the 
neighbourhood. After dinner they drove into the town 
and the young men of the house reftised to come to the 
lecture — they preferred to go to a show where there were 
sea-lions — " And quite right of them, too," said Birrell. 
During this Butler sat silent and uninterested, but *^ genial" 
as he probably thought. When it was over and we were 
preparing to take our departure, something was said about 
Shakespeare, whereupon all his animation returned and, as 
Miss Sichel said to me afterwards, Birrell and Butler 
carried on a conversation which, though short, was as 
brilliant as any she had ever heard. I am afraid I had 
forgotten this conversation about Shakespeare till she 
reminded me of it. When I saw Butler so nervous and 
uncomfortable I was too anxious to get him away to pay 
much attention to anything else. 



• ' ji. , Mr \* . . . 
' . .- 1 t.» '' <• ti ^'A .' i 

' •" wf^-.5t I f it 1' I .: ' •• ..' » 
• * I't t^rcatly Ic^s <'i^ '\ •• ;• f- ;; 
.' .1 to reali/x h«uv r.»>'< h .-: *». [ .^r i 
'.»'Vi whom to pa'ii ib i it'- en j .•■• «t 

Ucctrtta was a native of K.*! i! 
'.nd retired to his village to ei : ' 

VOL. II 337 

• «. «^k»— -a C « -- • ' ■■« •• ^ 









■ 4 

■i,— v--l» •* -^ ■^-*- ^ #-, ^ -y ^jp 





Butler was always ready to show his MS. to any one 1901 
whose opinion he valued. He showed Erewhon Revisited^ •^•^ ^5 
on which he had been busy for some time, to Mrs. 
Fuller Maitland, whose opinion he valued very highly. 
She took exception to a passage as being likely to cause 
offence and he altered it. 

Butler to Mrs. J. A. Fuller Maitland. 

6 Feb. 1 90 1 — Perhaps you know what the famous cook 
Uccetta did when the late King of Italy and his brother (then 
young) were dining at Fobello. Uccetta had exerted all his skill 
and had turned out a dinner which he fondly believed would do 
him credit. But alas 1 it was a Friday, and he had made the 
dinner grasso, whereas at the last moment it was discovered that 
the princes would only eat magro. In two hours he turned his 
grasso dinner into a magro one, and the princes never found out 
how much grasso was inevitably left in what they declared to be 
the most exquisite magro dinner that they had ever eaten. 

This is what I have attempted to do with my book. It did 
not require many changes, and I am afraid some wicked grasso 
will still remain, but when you read the book in print you will 
be surprised to see how little change has effected how much. 

The worst of it is that the book is far more dangerous in its 
present greatly less offensive form than it would have been had I 
failed to realize how much of what I had written would pain 
those whom to pain is a severe pain to myself. 

CJccetta was a native of Fobello near Varallo-Sesia, 
and retired to his village to end his days there. Once 

VOL. II 337 2 



1901 when we were at Fobello we went to see him and his 
Act. 6s ^fg and Butler photographed them. This story of him 
may perhaps recall that other story of the Sultan challeng- 
ing his jester, Ebn Oaz, to invent an excuse that should 
be worse than- the crime it was intended to excuse, referred 
to (ante, I. p. 175) apropos of the hiatus in Butler's letter 
to Miss Savage of 9th March 1873 about The Fair 

Mrs. Fuller Maitland wrote approving of the alteration 
and Butler replied. 

Butler to Mrs. J. A. Fuller Maitland. 

10 Fih. 1 90 1 — Thank you — with the utmost pleasure I will 
come to lunch with you on Sunday next at 1.30. 

I see from your very kind letter that there has been some 
misapprehension about my MS. Pray believe me I never meant 
any allusion whatever to the Founder of Christianity. I fear 
you must have thought I meant to suggest likeness to him in 
the Sunchild. I meant to show how myth, attended both by 
zealous good faith on the part of some and chicane on the part 
of others, would be very naturally developed in consequence of a 
supposed miracle, such as a balloon ascent would be to a people 
who knew nothing about such things ; and I meant to suggest a 
parallelism not between the Sunchild and Christ (which never 
even entered my head) but between the circumstances that would 
almost inexorably follow such a supposed miracle as the escape of 
the Sunchild, and those which all who think as I do believe to 
have accreted round the supposed miracle, not of the Ascension, 
but of the Resurrection. And I did not mean to poke fun at 
Christianity. Anything but. However, I must not do any- 
thing that can be mistaken for this. I do not and never did wish 
to do so. I have given the amended MS. to Streatfeild and have 
urged him to call my attention to anything that is even bordering 
on " bad taste." Before I sec you I shall have heard what he 
thinks and we can talk it over then. I thought calling the 
King ^^ Cocksure " was very bad taste, and I changed him into 
" Wellbelovcd " in the only place where it was necessary to give 
him a name and elsewhere simply call him the King. 

This time, please, no answer. You shall talk to me on 
Sunday, and I will listen, mark, learn and inwardly digest. 

We were to go to Sicily in the spring of 1901, but 
Butler wished first to finish and polish Erewhon Revisited 


and, if possible, to conclude negotiations with Longmans 1901 
for its publication, so I started first alone. ^^ 

Bufler to H. F. Jones. 

23 March 1901 — Longman declines to publish mv book for 
fear of giving; offence to his connection among the High Anglican 
party. ... I replied, I did not gather that he thought the book 
would shock the general public ; ^ short of this,'' I wrote, ^ not 
having any connection with the High Anglican party, nor any 
immediate intention of trying to form one, I must aim at the 
general public whom I really do wish to please rather than at a 
class whose power, to my thinking, has increased, is increasing 
and ought to be abated." I shall call on him next week and try 
and pump him ; meanwhile on strong entreaty from Walker and 
Cockerel! I have sent the MS. to Bernard Shaw and asked him 
to advise. 

Butler to George Bernard Shaw. 

22 March 1901 — Longmans have had the MS. nearly a 
month and will not publish it even at my expense ; they sav it 
will give offence to their connection amone the High Anghcan 
partv — which I should think not improbable, for it is iar more 
wiciced than Erewhon. 

I want, if I can, to find a publisher who will take the book at 
his own risk — not because I cannot afford to take this myself, for 
I perfectlv well can, but because I know it will fall flat unless it 
is a publisher's book, and if in the hands of a capable man it 
ought to do very well. If you can recommend me to a man in 
whom I can have reasonable confidence and who will have the 
like in me I shaU hold myself much your debtor. At any rate, I 
will try him. 

' I should say that I leave town on April 4 for Italy and Sicily 
and shall not be back till about June 4, The concluding pages 
will be written before I go. 

Again I ask your pardon for troubling you so seriously on so 
small an acquaintance. 

Bernard Shaw replied on the 24th of March and, after 
giving his opinion of Longman for refusing the book, con- 
tinued thus : 

But I should think you could have any of the younger 
publishers for the asking, or without it, if they knew tnat you 
were open to an offer. 


1901 My own publisher is a young villain named Grant Richards 

Aet 6$ who has no scruples of any kind. You had better let me show 
him to you on approvaL If you will come to lunch with us at 
1.30 say, on Wednesday or Thursday, I will invite Grant 
Richards, too. If you can persuade Walker or Cockerell or both 
to come along with you, do. We shall then feel at home and 
independent, as Richards will be in a hopeless minority. My 
wife is a good Erewhonian, and likes Handel ; you won't find 
her in any way disagreeable. And 10 Adelphi Terrace is within 
easy reach. 

I shall, of course, say nothing to Richards except that he will 
meet an eminent author, so that he will come as a palpitating 
fisherman. Publishing a sequel to Erewhon is an absolutely safe 
financial operation, as a sale sufficient to cover expenditure is 
certain. And as a young publisher would be elad to take you 
on at a loss for the sake of getting you on his list of authors, I 
shall be extremely surprised if you find the slightest difficulty so 
long as you avoid your own contemporaries, who are naturally 
all Buonondnists, so to speak. 

Let me have a line to Adelphi Terrace to say which day 
you'll come, so that I may write to Richards. 

I have started readin? your MS. instead of doing my work. 
So far I am surprised to nnd that so confounded a rascal as your 
original hero did not become a pious millionaire ; otherwise he is 
as interesting as ever. More of this when I finish him. 

Naturally I wanted to include Bernard Shaw*s letter 
in my book, but it seemed to me that his description of 
Mr. Grant Richards ought to undergo a little judicious 
editing before it appeared. I sent him a copy of the 
letter and asked what I should do. He appreciated my 
point and suggested an alteration ; he also made an 
alternative proposal : 

On the other hand he [Mr. Grant Richards] might like to 
have his connection with Butler recorded. Therefore I think 
the best course is to send him a copy of the letter and say that I 
could not consent to its publication without his approval. If he 
refuses, you can cook the letter as I have suggested in red ink. 

I followed the alternative proposal and received this 
reply from Mr. Grant Richards : 

8 St. Martin's Street, 
Leicestkr Square, W.C, May 27/^ 1915. 

Dear Mr. Festing Jones — I have not the slightest objection 
to the Bernard Shaw letter appearing exactly as it was written. 


Mn Shaw does me an injustice in thinking I should prefer it to 1901 
be edited. Indeed I very well remember meeting Samuel Butler. ^^' ^5 
I believe I am right in saying that I was the first publisher to 
take any financial risk in the publication of any of his books. 

I have a photograph here in my office inscribed ^To Grant 
Richards, Esquire, with S. B.'s very kind regards," and he gave 
me the Press copy with his autograph corrections of Erewhon 
Revisited, He lunched with me on several occasions. 

Shaw did tell me that I was going to meet Butler. I am 
under the impression that he told me why I was to meet him, 
but he also told me that I should find him ^^a shy old bird." — 
Sincerely yours. Grant Richards. 

I considered myself unfortunate in being out of 
England, so that I could not accompany Butler to lunch 
with Bernard Shaw ; true, I was not invited, but that 
initial difficulty need not have been prohibitive. It must 
have been an amusing party, and Butler told me nothing 
about it except the business result, which was that Grant 
Richards agreed to publish the book ; but he wanted it 
to be finished at once and printed in England so that he 
could take the sheets with him to America, starting about 
the middle of May. He also agreed to publish a new 
edition of Erewhon^ for which Butler was to supply enough 
new matter to give it a fresh copyright, and the two 
books were to be published simultaneously. Consequently 
Butler could not join me so soon as we had intended and 
I stayed at Pisa waiting for him. He finished Erewhon 
Revisited at Harwich, where he went for a week-end, and 
the proofs began to come. 

Butkr to H. F. Jones. 

ly April 1901 — I have 16 pages of proof. I think the page 
ugly but Walker and Cockerell pass it, so I expect it will be all 
right, and after all it does not matter. Streatfeild is reading it for 
me — ^and Alfred, who found three slips which both Streatfeild 
and I had overlooked. Streatfeild is a very engaging person and 
he is quite eager about it. 

What is your practice as regards the meat which has made a 
soup ? I have rather taken to making myself a nightly soup, 
boiling the meat some two and a half hours in the morning, 
letting it cool, taking the fat off in the evening and boiling again 


1901 with vegetables fisr an hour and a half. Is the meat then good 
Aet 6s for anything or no ? I eat some but find it rather uninteresting, 
though the soup is excellent. The wood-pigeons have hatched 
two young ones in the middle of our square. 

When the printing was finished Butler started, and 
travelling by Basel, to see the Faesch family, and by 
Casale-Monferrato, to see the Avvocato N^ri and the 
Coppo family, joined me at Pisa in the middle of May. 

Wc went down through Rome to Naples whence we 
crossed by sea to Palermo, arriving to find the city in a 
cold, drizzly Scotch mist. Our friends Miss Bertha 
Thomas and Miss Helen Zimmem were in the hotel and 
Ingroja had come down from Gdatafimi to meet us. We 
went to Trapani smd up the Mountain, saluting all our 
friends ; then through Castelvetrano back to Palermo 
and on through Catania to Taormina where we found 
William Logsdail, the painter, with his family. We went 
to Aci Reak for a day and saw Mario Puglisi, then to 
Messina and returned by sea to Naples. All the time 
Butler was fairly well, but on arriving at Naples he com- 
plained of feeling ill ; he could not, however, make up 
his mind to alter his plans, and we went straight on 
through Rome and Ancona to Pesaro, where we saw the 
picture by Giovanni Bellini which for years he had talked 
of showing me. 

After dinner at Pesaro, Butler, still feeling unwell, 
said to me : 

^^ Do you see the lady and gentleman at that table — 
those English people who were looking at the Bellini 
this morning — do you think cither of them is a doctor ? " 

I considered them and, saying I would inquire, went 
and sat down at their table : 

"Please excuse my interrupting you ; my friend, 
Mr. Butler, is not at all well, and we thought if 
one of you happened to be a doctor you might be 
able to " 

By this time Butler had joined us and we spent a 
most agreeable evening together. They knew all about 
his books, and did him more good with their conversation 
than any doctor could have done with his prescriptions. 



Next morning we exchanged cards ; they were Mr. and i9o« 
Mrs. Arthur Strong. ^^ ^^ 

The improvement in Butler's health was only 
momentary ; it did not last into the next day, and as we 
continued our journey through Rimini to Bologna he 
became worse and worse^ and could hardly do more than 
be put into the train to travel by day and be put into the 
hotel to sleep by night. But he would not alter his plans ; 
he even insisted on making the excursion to S. Marino by 
carriage. He had meant to go to these places and see 
them, and go to them he did ; though it can hardly be 
said that he saw them. At Bologna he collapsed on a seat 
in the picture gallery and insisted on my going round 
alone to see the pictures. 

After Bologna we struggled on through Parma and 
Piacenza to Casale-Monferrato, where we stayed several 
days. Here he succumbed and agreed to see Dr. Giorcelli, 
who could not make out what was the matter with him. 
He picked up, however, in a remarkable way — possibly the 
cooler air was beneficial — and was almost himself again 
during the journey back to London where we arrived on 
24th June. 

Bugler to the Avvocato Negri. 

July isthj 1901. 

My dear Cavaliere — I got your kind letter of July 9 on 
Friday last, and am extremely sorry to hear of the difficulties that 
have arisen in connection with the publication of your work on 
Tabachetti. I do not wonder that after so many years of 
research you should be ^^seccato di tante contrariety" — any 
man must be, and I assure you of my cordial sympathy. 

The great thing I fear is that you may be tempted to lay your 
MS. on one side through being tired out with so mucii dis- 
appointment, and I need not say how great a loss this would be, 
not to me only, nor to M. Oger, nor to the shade of that great 
genius to whom we are both of us so devoted, but to the history 
of medieval art ; for no one can do so much for Tabachetti s 
&me as you can, and no one, I am sure, would do that much 
so well. 

What do you think of sending .me the MS. that I may see 
how long it is, and try to get some of our illustrated monthly 
papers to publish it as a translation by me of a work by you ? 


1901 Murray, with whom I am on very good terms (he published 

Act. 65 my Life of Dr. Butler for me), publishes a monthly review which 

always contains one long, profusely illustrated paper on some 

artistic subject. Again there is The Portfolio ; I do not know the 

editor, but I think it would be worth trying. 

I am anxious to do the work before I set about anything eke, 
for if I begin on something different, I shall get engrossed with it 
and just at present, having finished the book that is to come out in 
October, I am free. Besides, I am getting older, and likely 
enough shall never do the thing at all unless I do it now. What 
do you think of this ? 

I am quite well again now, and none the worse for my little 
attack of malarial fever. Pray let me hear from you soon, and 
believe me with kindest regards to Signora Negri and your sons. 
Always most truly yours, S. Butler. 

The following letter relates to the development of the 
Whitehall property at Shrewsbury. 

Butler to Messrs. Henry IVade &? Son. 

a4/A Julyy 1901. 

Dear Sirs, 

W^tihall Building Estate. 

I am sorry to be unable to comply with your wishes in either 
of the two matters mentioned in your letter. 

In the first place, I cannot interfere when I have put a matter 
in my agent's hands — all I can do is to tell him of your wish, 
which I will do at once, and leave him to act according to his own 

As regards the second point, I named Bishop Street as 
an allusion to Dr. Butler ; Canon Street as one to my father ; 
Clifford Street because I live in Clifford's Inn ; and Alfred 
Street after my clerk, who has been my &ithful servant for 
a great many years, and whom I should not like to disappoint. 
Nevertheless, I went to Messrs. Russell Cooke this morning and 
asked them whether they objected to the change of name, and I 
found they decidedly did object, seeing how long the street has 
been named Alfred otreet in their office. 

I am afraid, therefore, that it must remain Alfred Street. Let 
us suppose that it was named after Alfred the Great and thus, in 
a way, is King Street after all. — Believe me, Yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 



Alfred was, almost from the very day he came to me, at once 1901 
servant and friend. I began to feel, almost immediately, that I ^^ ^5 
was like a basket that had been entrusted to a dog. I had Alfred 
and myself in view when I used this simile in Erewhon Revisitedy 
p. 217. He liked to have some one who appreciated him and 
whom he could run and keep straight. I was so much older that 
to him I was a poor old thing, with one foot in the grave, who 
but for his watchful eye and sustaining hand might tumble into it 
at any moment. 

A bill sent by some East End firm of bill collectors reached 
me making out that I owed 4s. lod. for groceries to some shop- 
keeper in Wapping. It was absurd and Alfred said : 

^Do you think, Sir, that I should have been with you all 
these years and allowed you to owe four and tenpence for 
groceries ? " 

Did I want a new hat ? Alfred knew very well that I should 
rub on with the old one unless I was kept up to getting a 
new one. 

^ Here, Sir, is a reminder for you ; you must keep it in your 
waistcoat pocket and keep on repeating it to yourself." Ana the 
reminder was slipped by him into my waistcoat pocket. It ran : 
^^ I am to buy a new hat, and a new pair of boots." 

On another like occasion I received the following : 

^^This is the last notice from Alfred to the effect that 
Samuel Butler, Esqr. is to buy himself a new Hat on Wednesday 
morning the 8th of November 1893. Failing to do so there will 
be an awful scene on his return to Clifford's Inn. — Alfred." 

Here are others : — 

" You are to work here to-morrow (Tuesday) until 12 o'clock. 
Then you are to go to Peek's or Wilkinson's and get your 
dinner. Then reach Drury Lane by 5 to i (not later). Pit 
early door, 2/6. When you are inside, and cannot get a seat in 
the middle, go to the left-hand side and you will see better. 
Feb. 8. 1892.^ 

^ March 15, 1893. I have taken a great &ncy to the plant 
we bought at Peckham on Tuesday and should lie very pleased 
and gratified if you gave it to me and got yourself a geranium 
when next we go down there. — Alfred. 

^^ Dec. 20, 1894. Please, you are to change your flannels and 
socks to-morrow morning. — Alfred." 

In 1895 I spent several mornings in the MS. Room of the 
British Museum, rubbing out pencil marks that I had made on 
manv of Dr. Butler's letters while I was writing my Life of Dr. 
Butler. Before giving the letters to the Museum I wanted these 

346 ALFRED u. 

1901 marks nibbed out and, the letters being already in the keeping of 
Act. 6$ the Museum, though not yet their property, it was arranged that 
Alfred and I should have a quiet corner in the MS. Room and rub 
out marks till we had cleaned up the letters. Alfred and I sat 
side by side and presently I found the following scrap thrust 
under my notice : 

• ^ You cannot rub out half so nice as Alfincd can.** 

" Friday 3.15 P.M. — Dear Sn — Do not forget to give Mr. 
Gogin the things I have put in the arm chair ; if you do there is 
lib^'caccuse for you. The brown paper is to wrap up what he 
wants of them. — Alfred." 

• ^Nev. 13, 1901" (to quote the latest) — ^"My dear Sir — 
You are requested by Alfred to leave off your music composing 
at 8 o'clock sharp, and to go for a walk on the embankment 
(weather permitting). Please don't fixget for there will be no 
excuse for you." 

Here is one to Jones. ^ Nov. iS/gi — ^Dear Sir — ^When you 
are booking seats at the theatre for yourself and Mr. Rockstro, 
kindly book one for the Governor as 1 consider it necessary that 
he should see In Town as it would then give him an idea of what 
kind of music the public have a taste for. Am sorry you have to 
leave Barnard's Inn ; I will keep a look out for chambers for 
you. — ^With love from yours very truly, Alfred." 

I am prouder of having received and treasured these scraps of 
Alfred's than I am of all my books put together. 

« Almost immediately after he had been well established as my 
clerk (hours from 9.30 to 12.45 and from 2 to 5.30) he wanted 
to be married. I was then only giving him 25/- a week and he 
had nothing behind him, so I said that if he married now, he had 
better stay with me till some better place turned up and then 
take it. The lady, finding that Alfred could not marry at once, 
married some one else, and I am not sure that Alfred was 
altogether displeased. We immediately began putting by a fund 
at the Savings Bank and by the time he was 30 he and I between 
us had got it up to ^^150. He then broached the subject of 
marriage again and, there being no reason why he should not 

I marry, I raised no objection. He has three very engaging 
children the eldest of whom is now about 8 years old. 

He has been with me just 15 years ; his savings — I believe I 
may say chiefly my doing, except that if I give him the money 
he saves it — are about £230. He has from me (including /lo 
for a holiday of 4 weeks at the seaside for himself and &mily) 
about ^150 a year, but I know that this will have to be increased 
as the children get bigger. I do not bdieve* that two men were 
ever thrown together more suited to one another. My place is 
exactly the one for which he is most adapted, and he is absolutely 


the sort of man I like to have about me. There is in &ct ^^a 1901 
semblable coherence between his spirits and mine," than which I Act. 65 
can imagine nothing more enviable or more likely to be enduring. } 

Returning for a moment to Alfred — readers of Erewhon 
Reuisited will find him described with his name in full as solicitor 
to the Higgs &mity. This was done in answer to^a complaint 
from "Alfred tKat I had never put him into any df'nryixjoks : f 

** You know. Sir, you have put Mr. Panlf in and Mr. Jones 
and Mr. Gogin^ and I thttikTOu bugHTTPTmr me in to o / * *' 

So I ^\Xt him in and I belieye he ts n(5W qirite contented. 

Here is another of Alfred*s letters to Butler, who 
gave it to Miss Edith Sichel, who gave me a copy of it in 
1911. "^- ' 

Saturday Nov. ^otk 1901. 

Please do not forget to trim your Beard this afternoon, so as 
to look nice and prim at Miss Sichel's to-morrow. 

Also don't rub out your accounts, as I can't make the Totals 
agree. We Will settle it on Monday (D.V.). — Yours Alfred. 

About the middle of August I went to Sicily alone 
to see the procession of the Personaggi on Monte San 
Giuliano. Butler had apparently quite recovered from 
his illness in the spring during our return from the south ; 
but, having seen the Personaggi in 1894, he did not care 
to undertake the long journey ; he went instead to 
Wassen where he stayed quietly sketching arid"*" editing 
his remains" — that is arrangifig and adnotating old 
letter s "arid'not es. As we were separate3nEKere~was some 
correspondence, and I give extracts from his letters and 
postcards from London and Wassen. I had been reading 
Guy Mannering. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

London, 22 Aug, — I read Guy Mannering many times as a 
boy and young man, and always REed^it, T "^hink, the best of all 
of Scott's. I also liked Rob Roy next best, but not many years ago 
tried Ivanhoe and could not g^t on with it. 

London, 29 Jug. 1901 — I am compelled to write a letter 
because I want to send you a word of Alfred's coinage which 
cannot be written on a pc^card. It is this. His youngest child 
(si years old), it seems, is of a most affectionate disposition. 

^^Even though I have slapped her for something, she will 


1 90 1 come to me directly, fling her arms round my neck anc^^wnicate 
Act. 6s upon me.** 

I have explained to him that the word is too like another 
word which he vowed he had never heard of and I was obliged 
to show it to him in the dictionary before he would be convinced. 
On seeing it, he agreed with me that he must amplify the word 
•* fawn ** in future with greater care. 

Wassbn, 2 Sept, 1 90 1 — At Basel met a lady and gentleman 
with whom I talked very amicably for an hour but who proved 
to be brother and sister to Ray Lankester. I laughed and said I 
was very sorry but could have no truck with their brother. 
They told me that Mrs. Arthur Strong, whom we met at Pesaro, 
was Miss Eug&iie Sellers whose name we have heard. I got 
VoL III. of Tennyson's Li/i ^ at Calais. Quite as delightful as 
the preceding vols. Throws even Guy Atannering into the 
shade. . . . 1 eather that you were not disappointed with the 
Personagei. I hope not. As for Demodocus, he is indeed 
wonderful— quite independently of his being Demodocus. I hope 
you heard him sing the lovely 4 verses which I have preserved.' 

Wassbn, 6 Sept. 1901 — The hotel was quite full on Sunday 
but all have gone except an Italian novelist, Verga, and a countess 
who requires explanation, but would be a very nice person if she 
did not sing and was not a goose. 

Wasskn, 15 Sept, 1901 — There have been two Aunt-Alice- 
! Harrie-and-May old ladies here, one of them said to me that she 
I supposed Signor Verga and the countess were husband and wife. 

f I said: *- 

{ ^Oh yes, certainly— -I mean husband and somebody else's 

wife," ■ - 

I said it with so much propriety as to escape giving offence, 
but it was touch and go. 

If you see Awocato Negri tell him that I am afraid I have 
bored him about his work on Tabachetti. Give my best love to 
dear Cesare and all sorts of kind things to all the others. 

By this time I was at Casale on my way back fix>m 
Sicily. The story about the husband and wife illustrates 
something I have often noticed in the writing both of 
Butler and of Miss Savage, whether one caught it from 
the other or not I cannot say. It is something in the 
treatment, not in the subject. Had any one else treated 
the story he might have ended it with the word " offence," 

^ In the Tavchnitx edition. 

* This wu the blind singer on Mount £171, whom he heard in 1893 (ante, pp. 
159, 160) and whom I had told him I heard there. 


if not with "somebody else*s wife," and it might have »9o« 
passed as just worth telling. By adding the six last ^' ^ 
words, " But it was touch and go/* Butler impresses his 
own persoiratity upon it ; he throws back over it a light 
that re-animates an expiring joke. We see him with the 
idea coming into his head ; he wonders whether he can 
possibly put it like that to the two old ladies ; he battles 
with the temptation, as Mrs. Wadman battled with the 
temptation to lay her finger upon the very place where / 
Giptain Shandy was wounded : 

" I cannot say it What would they think of me if 
I s^d it ? I wish I could say it. There can be no harm 
in saying it. I will say it." 

And then he makes the plunge and succeeds in giving 
no offence — ^at least he says he succeeded, but we have 
only his word for it ; one would like to hear the old 
ladies' account, just as he wanted to hear what the gazelles 
had to say about the young lady's statement in Moore's 
poem that when they came to know her well they loved 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Wassbn, 18 Sept, 1901 — I have brought on my drawings 
considerably by snatches but have had no comfortable steady light 
at all, and it is quite cold. I have got on with Miss Savage's 
and my correspondence — being now just half way through. I 
am shocked to see how badly I treated her, always thinking and 
writing about myself and never about her. If I have been as 
selfish and egoistic to you as I was to her, it will explain a good 
deal. I must endeavour, late as it is, to mend my ways. 

If Miss Savage had lived to- write Butler's life — ^and 
how I wish she had !- — ^she could~n6t*~Kave "passed this 
without a protest. Nor can I. To me he was the dearest, 
kindest, most considerate friend that any man ever had. 
He was never selfish or egoistic, nor was there ever 
anything that required explanation. If any one was selfish 
just at this time it was I for going off to Sicily to satisfy 
my curiosity about the procession on Mount Eryx and 
leaving him alone at Wassen to make stepping-stones of his 
dead selves and ** jump upon them to some tune " — a kind 


1901 meaning for her words in which he did not believe, and 

Act. 6$ ^J^^3 gave them strength to support a poem. I suppose 

that he was taking advantage of their ambiguity to develop 

in verse this passionate cry of penitence : ^* If she really 

intended that, my God, what a brute I was ! " 

In the sketch-book where I found the second sonnet I 
found also a third, incomplete, and several fragments 
intended either for a fourth sonnet or to be used in alter- 
ing and completing the third. These verses are toe 
unfinished for publication. It was in this sketch-book that 
I also found the beautiful line already quoted : 

Death bound me to her when he set me free. 

Butler was back in Clifford's Inn by the end of 
September and I followed, bringing Remi Faesch, who 
came from Basel to London to learn English, as his 
brother had done. 

Butler to Cesare Coppo. 

Oct. 5 1901. 

My dear good kind Cssarb — Thank you very much for 
your nice letter of Oct i from which I am glad to learn that you 
are all well. Oh yes ! Jones came back on the evening of the 
1st and told me he had enjoyed his visit to Casale very much, and 
that he had had a delightful day with you at Crea — but I feel 
sure that he had drunk more ofyour gooa wine than was good for 
him ! Four bottles to take to Crea I But as you know I am a 
poor hand at wine. Only yours is so very good that when one 
begins one cannot stop. 

I am extremely sorry to hear that, in spite of the " cannoni,** 
the hail did so much aamage. At any rate I should think that 
you will hear no more of that absurdity. 

Here the weather is broken and to-day it is quite cold and a 
fire is very pleasant. My new book is to come out on Wednesday, 
and I am very anxious to see how it is received. As regards my 
health, I am very &irly well, but I doubt whether I have ever 
quite shaken off the attack I got in the spring. When I was at 
Wassen I had a return of it, and at one time, was in half a mind 
to run over to Casale and show myself to Cavaliere Giorcelli, but 
I got better again — though I am still not quite as I should be. 

Angelo has sent postcards to both Alfred and myself, but 
there is no address on them. Please when you write thank him 
both for me and Alfred and send him our kmdest regards. I am 
very glad to hear that he is in a good situation. 


Both Alfred's little girls are in the fever hospital, but they 1901 
are going on well. With all kindest good wishes to your dear Act, 65 
mother, &ther, Angiolina, and best love to yourself — Believe me 
always very affectionately yours, S. Butler. 

The " cannoni " were cannon which they fired into the 
sky in the hope that the explosion would disperse the 
gathering hail-storms. Cavaliere Giorcelli was the doctor 
whom we used to meet at the Avvocato Negri's house ; 
he brought both Cesare and Angelo into the world. I 
do not think that Butler's illness, which returned at 
Wassen, was really malaria; he speaks of it so because 
one of the doctors had called it malaria. It is more 
likely he was already suflfering from the pernicious 
anaemia which, according to the certificate, was one of 
the causes of his death in the following year. 

On nth October 1901 we received the first copy of 
Erewhon Revisited twenty years later ^ both by the original 
discoverer of the country and by his son^ and also the first 
copy of the new edition of Erewhon. Into the latter he 
introduced about fifty additional pages, enough to start 
a fresh copyright in the book as revised. 

The motto on the half-title of Erewhon Revisited is a 
passage in Greek from the Iliad^ ix. 312, 313, with this 
translation — 

Him do I hate even as I hate Hell fire 

Who says one thing, and hides another in his heart. 

He wrote this book more easily than any other of his 
books, possibly because the idea had been in his mind for 
so many years ; some of his notes for it are given in the 
Note-BookSy but I cannot tell at what date he first con- 
templated it because he sometimes added the titles to his 
notes when copying them out at a date later than that of 
their composition. But he did not look through his 
Note-Books for material ; he wrote the book straight oflT, 

Erehhon Revisited 

Jones says I am to make a note of the hex, that many things, 
such as the clothes having been put upon a dummy ; the two 
buttons given to Yram ; the fact that the hero had announced 

VOL. II 2 A 


190Z himself as about to interview the^air god ; and many other like 
Act. 6$ incidents seem almost to have been put into Erewhon as prepara- 
tion for its successor. It was not so. I had no intention of 
writing a successor to Erewhon for many a year after it had been 
published. Nor did I read Erewhon through in order to see what 
I could make use of ; I took whatever sugp^ested itself at the 
moment as giving me an opportunity for helping the new book 
to catch on to the old one. 

Another curious thing about the growth of Erewhon 
Revisited is that all the time he was writing it he intended 
the visit of Mr. Higgs to Erewhon to be prologue, and 
the book was to be the visit of his son John. This 
appears from his letter to Dean Pigou (ante, pp. 330-1). 
As it turned out, the visit of the father is the book and 
John's visit is epilogue. 

In writing Erewhon Revisited Butler remembered that 
he was " an unimaginative person," and, as with The Way 
of all Fleshy preferred to take incidents from real life 
instead of inventing new ones. 

Hanky's Sermom 

I forget whether I have said that all the part of Hanky's 
sermon dealing with the Sunchild evidences is taken almost word 
for word from a letter in The Times that appeared Dec. 8, 1892 
and was written by Sir G. Gabriel Stokes and Lord Halsbury, 
asking for money on behalf of the Christian Evidence Society. 

We have seen from his letter to Mr. Robert Bridges, 
of 6th February 1900, that a friend actually saw Erewhon 
on a second-hand book-stall labelled " 6d., very readable." 
This friend was Thomas Greg, who occupied rooms under 
Butler at 15 Clifford's Inn. He bought the book and 
showed it to Butler, label and all. The idea of making 
Mr. Higgs a pavement artist was derived from the tenant 
of one of his small houses at Peckham, who followed that 
profession, and had the unusual name of Stocquelar. He 
had often looked at the work of these people and com- 
pared it in his mind with the votive pictures in Italian 
churches ; in the days of his poverty he had wondered, in 
an Anch'io sono pittore frame of mind, whether, as he 
could make nothing out of his expensive University educa- 


tion, he might be able to make a living in this way. It 1901 
interested him to know that one of his own tenants actually ^^^ ^S 
was finding the money for his rent out of the proceeds of 
these pavement pictures. 

I never saw Stocquelar, but after Butler's death Mr. 
Tanner, who used to collect his rents, told me about him. 
He wore long hair and a Scotch cap, and had had some 
artistic training — enough for him to turn one of the rooms 
in his house into a studio where he had pictures painted 
by himself, landscapes of Dulwich and the neighbourhood, 
and portraits, including a portrait of his wire. He and 
his wife, having no chUdren, advertised that they wished 
to adopt a boy, and, after some preliminaries, a boy was 
sent and was brought up by them. From the feet that 
the child arrived in a brougham the neighbours assumed 
that he must be of noble birth. Stocquelar died suddenly 
on his pitch in Rye Lane. 

In chapter vii. of Erewhon Revisited Mr. Higgs sees 
outside a tailor's shop, in the main street of Sunch'ston, 
"a flaring advertisement which can only be translated, 
* Try our Dedication trousers, price ten shillings and six- 
pence.*" This was because in 1872, at the time of the 
Thanksgiving Service in 5t. Paul's for the recovery of the 
Prince of Wales, Butler had seen, outside a tailor's shop 
on Ludgate Hill, an advertisement identical in every 
respect except that the word "Thanksgiving" appeared 
instead of " Dedication." 

Three pages further on he writes of Mr. Higgs, " the 
giddiness which had for some seconds compelled him to 
lay hold of the first thing he could catch at in order to 
avoid falling " — ^this is a reminiscence of his own giddi- 
ness which compelled him to lay hold of the railings and 
to get the Staple Inn watchman to accompany him as he 
went down from my rooms to his own, in 1895. 

Butler to Mr. H. Heathcote Statham. 

14 Oct. 1901 — ^It is very kind of you to have written as you 
have done, and I am much gratified that you appear to be satisfied 
with Erewhon Revisited. As for the Hanky's and Panky*s, the 


356 «Q" 

1901 more dissatisfied they are, and the more they show their dis- 
Aet 65 satisfaction, the better I shall be pleased, for I think that they 
will understand the satire. 

I believe it to be high time that some such book was written, 
and that the present moment is, to use the slang of the day, a 
** psychological ** one (whv not simply "opportune"?) for its 
appearance. I am especiaUy glad that you like page 280 ; this, 
and the similar pp. 289, 290, are the conclusion of the whole 
matter so fiir as I am concerned. I also like President Gurgoyle's 
pamphlet in chapter xi. 

If Thg Guardian notices the book, for it has a habit of 
passing me over in silence, and never reviewed eithor my Li/i vf 
Dr. Butler of Shrewsbury, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield, or my 
Juthoress of the Odyssey^ 1 will send you the review and you will, 
as you say, return it ; in the meantime I rather gather that you 
have not seen the reviews of Erewhon Rtvisited in The Times and 
Daily Chronicle^ so I send them and will ask you to return them. 
They both appeared on the day the book was published. The 
Times is the b^t. 

As for Narcissusy we dare not go to the great expense of 
getting it performed. Our best chance lies in my becoming 
better known as a writer. I have since completed my half of a 
serious secular oratorio, Ulysses^ in which — except in the choruses 
which are as Handelian as it was in my power to make them, 
one of them being on a ground bass — I have recognised the 
existence, under protest, of Mozart and Beethoven, though 
keeping mainly to Handelian modes of expression and mental 
attitude. Both my friend Jones and I should regard any poking 
fun at Handel as a mauvaise plaisanterie of the most odious kind. 
We adore him. 

The reviews of Erewhon Rtvisited were in the main 
favourable ; among them was one by Mr. (now Sir) 
Arthur Quillcr-Couch in The Daily NewSy about which 
Butler wrote to the editor. 

31 October 1901 — ^After the very handsome way in which 
you have treated me, I am ashamed of appearing to express any 
kind of dissatisfaction, but shall nevertheless be glad if you will 
allow me to make the following explanation : 

Speaking of Erewhon Revisited^ Mr. Quiller-Couch says : 
*^ But when it comes to inventing for an Erewhonian woman 
named Yram (which is *Mary' reversed) and her husband a 
situation which at once calls up, and scandalously, the nuptials of 
Christ's Mother with Joseph, then I must submit that he is either 
offensive bv inadvertence almost incredible or — " etc. 


If I have been offensive in the manner above alleged, it is 1901 
assuredly by inadvertence, for the idea of parallelism between the Act. 6$ 
nuptials of Mr. Strong and Yram, and those of the Mother of 
Christ and Joseph never crossed my mind. I do not see the 
parallelism even now, for to make it at all close Higgs ought to 
be the son of Yram ; nor has anv one of the other fifteen 
reviewers who so far have reviewed Erewhon Revisited shewn 
any signs of detecting either advertence or inadvertence in this 
connection. I am none the less shocked that a single reviewer 
should have done so. 

The name Yram was fixed, quite guilelessly, some thirty 
years ago, and could not be changed. That she should have had 
a son by Higgs was an after-thought not contemplated till I 
began to write Erewhon Revisited and saw how useful an allv a 
son would be to him. Moreover, this after-thought gave occasion 
for the second leading idea of the book, which so far no reviewer 
has noticed. I mean the story of a father trying to win the love 
of a hitherto unknown son, by risking his life in order to show 
himself worthy of it — ^and succeeding. The marriage of Strong 
and Yram was dictated by my inability to see any other way of 
saving Yram and of putting her son in a position to help his 

Mr. Quiller-Couch replied privately to Butler apologis- 
ing for the injustice he had done him, and offering to own 
the mistake in The Daily News^ but Butler begged him to 
dismiss the subject from his mind. 

A few days later Butler wrote to Mrs. Fuller Maitland : 
" I send by to-morrow*s post a copy of my wicked book," 
and added a postscript calling her attention to the second 
leading idea, in words almost identical with those in the 
foregoing letter. 

Coffee at Wilderhope 

I am in disgrace at Wilderhope just now. I went there on 
the 8th of last month, and in the evening unfortunately took up 
the Life of Archbishop Benson^ with which I was immediately 
fascinated, much as I had been with the present Lord Tennyson s 
Life of Tennyson, . . . However let this be. I was devouring 
the Life of Archbishop Benson^ and made no secret of the amuse- 
ment it afforded me. This gave great offence. 

^^But I assure you, Sam, the book has been very highly 
spoken of. Quite a number of people, really good people who 
know when a book is good as well as anybody, have enjoyed it 

358 "YOUNG MR. BENSON" xl 

1901 ^I assure you, my dear Harrie, they cannot have enjoyed it 

Aet. 65 more heartily than I am doing." 

On this there was a severely abrupt change in the conversation. 
Next morning at breakfast there was no tea. It was a year since 
I had stayed with them, and I concluded they had forgotten that 
I always took tea, not coffee, when staying with them. But this 
was not so. 

May said, ^ Oh, Sam, I think you like tea for breakfast, do 
you not ? We can have some made in a moment." 

I assured her that I like coffee very much, which I do ; it is 
not coffee, but Wilderhope coffee, that I do not like. I was not 
going, however, to explain this, and declared that when I was 
abroad I always took coffee for breakfast, which is quite true. 
But I could see I was in disgrace. 

In the course of the morning I went up into the town to 
look at the papers, and found to my surprise the excellent review 
of Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited in The llmeSj Oct. 9 (on 
which day the books were published), and also the hardly less 
•excellent review in The Daily Chronicle. I knew that I ought 
not to say anything about these reviews to my sisters, but there 
are few so holy as to be able at all times to resist the temptation 
to rub a success in, although it be known that it will irritate. 
So I showed them to my sisters. Harrie made some short slight 
remark indicating disapprovaL May said not a word. They 
will probably have their revenge when the books are reviewed l^ 
the Spectator and Guardian. 

In the evening I again took up the Life of Archbishop Benson 
and came upon the passage on p. 122 of the abridged edition 
^dacraillan, 1901) wherein the writer describes his meeting with 
Mr. Gladstone. It runs : ^ 14 July^ 1871. Last Sunday I had 
a singular and interesting change. I went to Windsor to preach 
to the Queen, and saw something of, and much admired^ Mr. 
Gladstone. His eyes alone afford sufficient reason for his being 
Prime Minister.*' 

At this I tittered, and read the passage aloud. ^^It must 
have been his nose^" said I. "The bishop must have written 
* nose * and young Mr. Benson changed it into ' eyes.* ** 

Harrie nred up and desired me not to read anything more to 
her. On the following morning the Life of Archbishop Benson had 

Harrie was very cross at breakfast. 

" You still continue to like coffee ? '* said she ; " we can have 
tea made for you if you like.'* 

I still continued to like coffee. But when it proved that 
there was not enough to give me a second cup, I was firm, and 
she had to send for more. May was breakfasting in bed, so 


it rested with Harrie who ate up all the four little pieces of toast 1901 
without offering me a single one. The next day I was leaving, Act 65 
and I think it was felt that I had been sufficienuy punished, for 
she insisted on my having two of the usual four pieces of toast. 

What a beast I am for laughing at her ! But I cannot help it ; 
it was too comic. [Nov, 1901.] 

Near the opening of the foregoing note the reader 
may have observed some dots ; they were substituted by 
me for a passa£;e consisting of critical remarks upon the 
biographies of Tennyson and Archbishop Benson — a 
passage which I omitted in deference to one for whose 
opinion on a question of literary taste I have the highest 
regard. I did not understand his opinion to extend to 
what Butler says later about Mr. Gladstone's eyes ; 
nevertheless I will here depart from my usual practice of 
leaving the reader to settle for himself when Butler is 
serious and when he is jesting, and state clearly that in 
this case he is jesting. He was burlesquing the com- 
mentators of the Odyssey and the Sonnets, and throwing 
out a conjectural emendation which he would not have 
supported seriously if challenged. In printing it I intend 
no disrespect either to the memory of Mr. Gladstone or to 
that of the Archbishop or to the Master of Magdalene. 
Nor did Butler aim his remark at them or at any one of 
them. It was all part of that laughing at Mrs. Bridges for 
which the conclusion of the note is an apology. 


1902 — ^Pabt I 

1902 On our return from Boulogne, where we had been, as 
Ace 66 usual, for Christmas, I went to Hampstead to stay for a 
few days with my sister Lilian in her flat at Downshire 
Hill, and developed pneumonia. My sister nursed me, 
and I did not return to Staple Inn till loth March. 
During my illness Butler came to see me frequently, and 
when he could not come he wrote. It was a long journey 
from Clifford's Inn to Hampstead, the weather was cold 
and he was ill, though we did not realise till afterwards 
how ill he was ; consequently he wrote a great many 
letters — some were addressed to my sister and some to 
me, but they were all written with the intention of enter* 
taining me. ** Mrs. Gallup's cipher,*' in the first extract, 
is a reference to the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy. 

Butler $0 Miss L. I. Jones. 

6 Jan. 1902 — ^I am keeping for him a copy of this day's Times 
with facsimiles of some of the italic writing from which Mrs. 
Gallup's cipher is derived, and an exhaustive explanatory article 

My sonnet is in this week's Athenaeum. Gogin has written — 
all well — so has [Lionel] Smvthe. It seems we don't understand 
the humour of Old Mortality. He says: ^^It should be read 
slowly with much imaginary north country accent, thus what he 
[H. r. J.] takes for dullness will be seen to be humour, Scottish, 
and possibly a joke at the reader's expense. The verbosity is of 
his period and far and away better than Bulwer Lytton whom he 



[H. F. J.] admires," I would not tell Jones this till he is pretty far 190a 
advanced towards recovery. As for his admiring Bulwer Lytton ^^^ ^^ 
I must hear it from his own Ups before I believe it. 

This IS the sonnet mentioned in the foregoing letter. 
It appeared anonymously in The Athenaeum^ and is given in 
The Note- Books of Samuel Butler (i 9 1 2). 

McAAovra ravra 

Not on sad Stygian shore, nor in clear sheen 

Of far Elysian plain, shall we meet those ^ 

Among the dead whose pupils we have been, /' 

Nor those great shades whom we have held as foes ; /^ 

No meadow of asphodel our feet shall tread. 

Nor shall we look each other in the face 

To love or hate each other being dead. 

Hoping some praise, or fearing some disgrace. 

We shall not argue saying ***Twas thus " or "Thus,** 

Our argument's whole drift we shall forget ; 

Who's right, who's wrong, 'twill be all one to us ; 

We shall not even know that we have met. 

Yet meet we shall, and part, and meet again 
Where dead men meet, on lips of living men. 

Butler to Miss L. 1. Jones. 

7 yan. 1902 — A man has written to The Athenaeum that he 
wishes the right hand of the man who wrote my sonnet had been 
paralysed before he wrote it I But he likes the two last lines. 

Butler to the Editor of The Press, N.Z. 

January yth 1902 — Your very kind letter of November i8th 
and copies both of the Jubilee U^eekly and the daily Press reached 
me a few days ago, but an influx of foreign visitors on whom I 
have to attend and the dangerous illness of my friend, Mr. 
H. F. Jones (who is now on the mend) have prevented me from 
thanking you until now. 

The Weekly Press is really an astonishing performance as well 
as a most interesting one — I need hardly say that I shall value it 
very highly. The illustration which affects me personally most 
is the one of Dr. Sinclair's grave which is on my own run (that 
was). I was away down at Christchurch when poor Dr. Sinclair, 
who was staying at my station, was drowned, and never heard of 
what had happened till I actually reached home and found that 
the body had been already buried — with a service, I blush to say, 
read from my bullock-driver*s Mass-Book by Dr. Haast, as he 




i$o% then was, no Church of England Prayer Book being found on the 
Act. 66 jtation. Possibly I had taken mine with me for use at Christ- 
church, but at this distance of time — nearly forty years — who 
can say? 

I am glad also to possess photographs of my old friend, Mr. 
William Sefton Moorhouse, who dwells ever in my memory as 
one of the very finest men whose path I ever crossed, but who 
also haunts me bitterly as one of the very few men — at least I 
trust it may be so— who treated me with far greater kindness 
than I did him. His memory is daily with me, notwithstanding 
all these years, and ever will be, as long as I can remember any- 
thing. But, alas ! it is as that of one who showed nothing but 
extreme kindness and goodwill to me and who did not receive 
from me the measure which he had meted out. Not that I ever 
failed in admiration and genuine affection but (it is true, under 
great stress) I did not consider things which a larger knowledge 
of the world has shown me I ought assuredly to have considered.^ 
Enough ! He dweUs ever with me as, perhaps, the greatest man 
all round that I have ever known. I was also very glad to have 
the photo of my old and valued friend J. Colborne Veel whose 
inimitable articles on ^ Public Gardens " (I need not say, a parody 
on the Canterbury Standard)^ ^ Kaiapoi Address,*' and ^^ Shall Mr. 
OUivier have a Statue i " are often read by me to friends with never 
filing appreciation on their part and delight on mine. 

I thank you for your most kind and too flattering article on 
the announcement of my Erewhon Revisited. I immediately sent 
it to Mr. Grant Richards and asked him to send you copies. 
You will see reminiscences of my own first crossing the hills 
above Lyttelton and riding across the plains in chapter xxvii., 
but I have deliberately altered a good deal, for I had to make the 
writer get up the Rakaia Gorge, whereas I have really taken him 
to the Rangitata. 

I suppose I am probably the last survivor of those who rode 
on the trial trip of the first locomotive that ever travelled in New 
Zealand. Moorhouse, Reeves, myself and one other (but of this 
I am not certain) were the only ones on the engine as it started 
from Christchurch and ran to the Heathcote. 

As an after-thought, I may express my gratitude to the writer 
of the Odyssey for not having taken anything like the same 
liberties with the neighbourhood of Trapani that I have taken, 
both in Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited^ with the topography of 
Canterbury. Had she done otherwise, I doubt whether I should 
have ever felt so confident of having hounded her down and 
brought her back to her own people as I now fearlessly am. 

^ Cf. ante, I. pp. 169, 170. 


Strange — the way in which Baker and I discovered the pass to 190a 
the West Coast over the head waters of the Rakaia is drawn Aet. 66 
closely from fact. We went up the Rangitata and actually over- 
looked the pass over the Rakaia ranges that was exactly opposite 
us and which we should not otherwise have found. Alas 1 that 
our having found it should have cost poor Whitcombe his life. 

The foregoing letter was published in the Jubilee 
number of The Press (N.Z.) on 25th May 191 1. Dr. 
Gerald Harper sent me a copy in time for me to read 
the letter at the Fourth Erewhon dinner in Jxily. When 
I came to the part about the Prayer Book the guests 
laughedy and, I believe, thought that his saying that 
possibly he had taken his to Christchurch was a polite 
fiction. But I believe it was the fact. It was on 14th 
August 1862 (ante, I. p. 98) that he wrote to Marriott : 
" As for going to church I have left it off this twelve- 
month and more." Dr. Sinclair was drowned in 1861, 
and Butler might easily have been at church in Christchurch 
at the time with his Prayer Book. Perhaps he also took 
with him the Bible given to him by "his affectionate 
Godmother and Aunt Anna Worsley," the prototype of 
the one which Ernest Pontifex kicked into a corner before 
going to call upon Miss Maitland in chapter Ix. of The Way 
of all Flesh. In any case it is satisfactory to know that 
some one on the run had a book of services of some kind, 
otherwise Dr. Sinclair's fiineral might have had to be 
conducted with, if not a chapter from Tristram Shandy^ 
perhaps one from The Origin of Species. 

Butler 'to Miss L. L Jones. 

9 yan. 1902 — I have edited several of your brother's 1883 
letters from Venice, Padua, and Verona ; if he has any of mine, 
and if they contain as much treasonable matter as his to me, I 
trust he will allow me, when he gets better, to edit them by 
writing over those parts that give my true opinion concerning 
those most near and dear to me as follows : 

Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born I 

Or of the Eternal coeternal beam 

May I express thee unblamed ? Since God is light. 

And never but in unapprpached light 

Dwelt from eternity, etc.— 


190a lines which, I take it, no one will credit me with knowing 
Aet. 66 and which I assuredly should not know if I had not had to write 
them and the next 45^ lines of the third book of Paradise Lest 
many a hundred times over when I was a boy at school. They 
are the most abiding; of all the lines that I ever learned at 
Shrewsbury — [here follows a line cancelled by writing a line of 
Milton over it] cancelling ... as per line cancelled. 
Read that, Mrs. Gallup, if you can ! 

He was editing his correspondence, and sent some of 
Miss Savage's letters to be read to me. Of my letters 
he said : '* Treated with a moderate application of * Hail, 
holy Light ' they are quite safe ; in all cases of doubt I 
apply the Milton." 

Butler to Miss L. L Jones. 

16 Jan. 1902 — I am editing the very painful years in my 
correspondence, 1 883-1 886. I am at the point when I was sent 
for post-haste to Shrewsbury to a supposed perfectly hopeless 
illness of my father who recovered and lived three years longer. 
I see I wrote to Miss Savage that it was Orpheus and Eurydice 
only the other way about. 

She wrote back: "Your father will be sure to take great 
care of himself; bronchitis patients always do take care of them- 
selves — I have told you so before. It is a most interesting 
occupation — more satis^ing even than a hobby for collecting 
things — ^always to be talcing thought for oneself and looking at 
the weathercock and thermometer. If I had plenty of money 
there is nothing I should like better than to be a bronchitis 

I fear that being a pneumonia patient will not be found quite 
such a delightful occupation by your poor brother. 

Butler to Miss L. I. Jones. 

20 Jan. 1902 — I have been to the Old Masters. There are 
a few good things, especially a very fine and well preserved Jan 
Steen " Grace before Meat," which I hope your brother will be 
able to see, and a large, important, and certainly genuine work 
by Rafiaelle, which I hope will do his reputation the harm that it 
ought to do. 

That odious paper Literature is dead ; I am delighted. It 
is now amalgamated with The Academy^ which appears as The 
Academy and Literature. 



The Times has taken to publishing a Weekly Literary 1902 
Supplement on a separate sheet or sheets of a size different from ^^^ ^^ 
chat of the rest of the paper. This contained last Saturday an 
article (I should think by Miss M. £. Coleridge) on Aldis 
Wright's last volume of FitzGerald's Letters. The extracts given 
do not strike me as quite to my taste ; but I am getting the 
book from Mudie's, for I want to make up my mind about 
FitzGerald more definitely than I have yet been able to do* 

I went to Mrs. X's yesterday afternoon. X and the man 
who married the daughter were there. Mrs. X was most 
affectionate. She said my hands were cold, which they were. 
She placed them on the sofa by her side, without, I need hardly 
say, detaching them from the rest of my body, and laid her own 
beautiful paws upon the top of them, saying that she should keep 
them there till mine were war^i. I said that that would be 
delightful ; but I writhed inwardly ; happily, she did not carry 
out her threat to the bitter end. There were lots of enquiries 
about your brother, and I was to convey all sympathy, etc. 

The son-in-law is a very nice man, about 45, plain, quite 
bald, but acute, sympathetic, and without any kind of side. He 
was most attentive and friendly to me, and this, as your brother 
will readily believe, inclined me to think highly of him. His 
wife has just presented him with a little boy. 

Who should come in while I was there but Mr. and Mrs. Z, 
who said they thought I had dropped them altogether, etc., etc. 
This comes of calling on anybody at all. I was very angry but 
I was caught, and I suppose shall have to call there next Sunday. 
Then Mrs. X brought out my photo, and they admired it so 
much that I was each moment in alarm lest I should have to 
spend 2/9 in giving them one. Happily they did not ask for a 
copy, and I breathed freely when the conversation flowed into 
another channel. Of course they were properly sympathetic 
about your brother. 

I forgot to tell your brother that Waddington, who was to 
have come on Friday, did not turn up, and has not written. I 
sent a p.c. last night to enquire. 

Alfred this afternoon began to show signs of wobbling about 
Rudyard Kiplino^. He asked me what an ^^oaf" was. ^^It is 
an aobreviation, said I dogmatically, ^^ for loafer." I knew that 
this would be plausible enough to catch him, and also that he 
would be indignant with Kipling for calling footbaU- players 
loafers.^ I believe I have done for Kipling's high estate with 
Alfred much as I did with my tobacconist years ago in respect 
of Gladstone's reputation as a financier, and about as truthfully 

^ This it an aUusion to Kipling's poem "The Itlanden" in Tkt Five Nations 


190a [cf. The Note^Books of Samuel ButUr^ p. 165]. I fear I have a 
Act. 66 good deal of my younger sister in me. I see I wrote to Miss 
Savage in 1884: ^my sister May has been sending for xnj 
nephew from Liverpool and has been telling him some truths ; 
this seems to have made her ill for some days. If she really has 
been telling the truth to anyone I wonder that it did not kill 
her outright. She seems all right now, so I suppose she has got 
back to lying again." Milton^ please. 

As for poor dear Miss Savage, she has only a very few months 
to live, and I can see now that she is forcing herself to a light- 
heartedness which she does not feel. 

Alfred sends his best respects to you, and his love to your 
brother, about whom I am very unhappy. No doubt I shall 
have a p.c to-morrow to say what Sir Douglas Powells opinion 
is. I trust that no operation will be necessary, and that he will 
make us all comfortable about the rise in temperature, but I 
confess to being very much afraid that tapping may be necessary. 
Please to give him my best love. 

In reading FitzGerald*s Letters Butler hit upon some 
praise of Crabbe ; it was probably this passage : ^ 

I wish some American Publisher would publish my Edition 
of Tales of the Hally edited by means of Scissors and Paste, with 
a few words of plain Prose to bridge over whole tracts of bad 
Verse j not meaning to improve the original, but to seduce hasty 
Readers to study it. 

This occurs in a letter to Professor C. E. Norton of 
22nd December 1876 ; and in 1879 FitzGeraId*s Readings 
in Crabbe was issued. Butler knew nothing about Crabbe, 
so I sent him this passage from a note to the preface to 
the imitation of Crabbe in Rejected Addresses : 

It is not a little extraordinary that Crabbe, who could write 
with such vigour, should descend to such lines as the following : — 

Something had happened wrong about a bill 
Which was not drawn with true mercantile skill. 
So, to amend it, I was told to go 
And seek the firm of Clutterbuck & Co. 

Surely Emanuel Jennings compared with the above rises to 

These are the lines which Butler refers to in the next 
letter. They may occur so in some editions of Crabbe, 

1 Letttrt of Edward FitnGeraUt vol. ii. p. 211 $ Macmilkn, 1894. 


but in the edition which I possess (Paris : Galignani, 1903 
1829) in Tales of the Hall, No. vii., "The Elder Brother," ^^'- ^^ 
they occur in this form, which would have done as well as 
the other for the preface to Rejected Addresses : 

Something one day occurred about a bill 
That was not drawn with true mercantile skill, 
And I was asked and authorized to go 
To seek the firm of Clutterbuck & Co. 

Butler to Miss L. I. Jones. 

22 Jan. 1902. 

Dear Miss Lilian — ^I was much relieved yesterday morning 
by the account you gave of your brother. I trust that he will 
now go on conquering and to conquer till every enemy to his 
recovery be subjected and pneumonia itself, etc. etc. I doubt 
whether "subjected" is the right word but my New Test, 
memory is getting very unsafe — or does the passage come from 
Dent's Family Prayers? But let that pass. 

I note the lines from Crabbe. Now what did FitzGerald 
mean by being so enthusiastic about a man who could write like 
that ? Is it possible that a man who could stand that should be 
one of those that should redeem Israel ? God knows whether 
such a man shall inherit his kingdom, but, for my own part, I am 
doubtful. Enough, again, of this. 

And now Mrs. X wants to come to tea. Give that womar. 
an inch, etc. Her husband got an Iliad znA an Odyssey out of me. 
They are just like Gaetano. See how they made me hump my 
big camera twice to photograph their rooms, and would have made 
me hump it a third time only I vowed that I had sold it. They 
were quite cross about it. 

As I was going out of the Museum yesterday and getting my 
umbrella, MacColl^ came up looking very dull and cross and 
heavy. They handed him his coat and I helped him to put it on, 
but, as I had my umbrella and packet of papers in my hands, I did 
not do it well, and I heard several stitches crack as he struggled 
to get his arm in. Of course I ought to have put my umbreUa and 
parcel down before I helped him on, but I was too lazy, and I 
was not altogether sorry that the stitches cracked. He walked with 
me to the gate, or rather shambled, for he does not walk, and on 
the way said he had seen my sonnet in The Athenoium and had 
thought it very fine. He had asked Rendall who wrote it, and 
when I heard this, I was quite sorry about the stitches. 

^ Mr. Norman MacCoU, formerly editor of Tkt Athenaeum, He retired early in 
1901, aad Mr. Vernon RendaU succeeded him. 


iQoi I s^^ h^^ ^^ more beautiful the Shakespearean form of 

Act. 66 sonnet was than the Petrarchian. He said ^' You must not say 
this to Watts-Dunton. He was always very angry with me when 
I put in a sonnet in the Shakespearean form. He says that any- 
one can write a sonnet in the Shakespearean form." 

"Very likely,** said I, "but nobody can write one in the 
Petrarchian — at least I have never yet seen one that I could read 
with pleasure.** To my suprise he endorsed this, and called the 
Petrarchian form Procrustean, whereon I was even more penitent 
about the stitches. I told him about your brother's illness and he 
was duly sorry — but he is a dull thing. But he blew on Kipling's 
" Islanders." 

By the way, it is borne in upon me that it was very possibly 
Watts-Dunton who wrote that atrocious review of my Sonnet 
book in The Athenaeum, Yes ; it shall be Watts-Dunton. He 
tried to cotton up to me years ago in the old Erewhon days, but 
I detested him and would have none of him. 

I have heard from Mrs. Waddington. Her husband had not 
yet come back from Germany, but was to return to-morrow. If 
he does, he is to come to me on Friday. I will then give him 
your brother's message, and aU news about him. I shall have my 
chorus, I believe, complete for him to cut about. 

There have been articles both in 'Die Times and in Nature 
about Stonehenge. It is declared to be a Solar Temple, and, if 
so, by various astronomical calculations is declared to be of date 
from 1 780-1680 B.C. This seems a reasonable date. The flint 
implements unearthed during the excavations and evidently then 
used upon the stones, confirm the supposition that it belongs to 
a pre-bronze age. Exit, therefore, all the nonsense talked by 
Flinders Petrie about its being post-Roman of the 6th or 7th 
century a.d. 

Alfred and I went to Drury Lane last night and found it all 
or nearly all spectacular. He is to take me to the Surrey 
next week as an antidote. We are not to go to Drury Lane 
any more. 

I am to dine at the Morses' on Feb. 6 so they condone 
Erewhon Revisited. And I am to lunch at Miss SicheFs next 
Sunday at 1.30. Renseignements about how to get from 
Downshire Hill, Hampstead, to S. Kensington will be gratefully 

If Waddington comes on Friday I shall be unable to write 
much on that day, but I have a letter of Miss Savage's jumping 
upon me for one of mine, which will be an efficient substitute. 'I 
have copied out the last of her letters, but have a few more to 
copy from other people in respect to her. I am sorry, but am 
also glad. 


Please to give my best love to your brother and believe me, 1901 
with a few additional postcards, — Yours very truly, Act. 66 

S. Butler. 

The postcards were addressed to himself so as to save 
my sister trouble ; she was to use them for bulletins about 
my progress. 

Butler to Miss L. L Jones. 

24 Jan. 1902 — Thank you for your letter received last night 
with its good account of your brother. I note your renseigne- 
ments but will explain on Sunday how I think I can do better. I 
won't waste space on this now. 

I forgot to say that I met Y in the street. He was looking 
quite weU and evidendy still under the impression that he had 
solved the mystery of the Sonnets once for all, by classifying 
them according to their subjects. God may forgive him but I 
never can. 

I have the second volume of FitzGerald's Letters. I have 
read 40 very monotonous pages not one of which, I should say, is 
worth publishing at alL I shall read some more, but I do not 
believe that FitzGerald will ever take higher rank than that of a 
most amiable man of very average ability who once made a great 
hit which he could not live up ta 

I called on Grant Richards this morning but he is out of 
town. I find that up to 31st December, 638 copies of Erewhon 
Revisited had been sold, amd 480 of Erewhon. The manager 
considered this to be very satisfactory. No more reviews save one 
in The Tablet for December 14 ; quite genial. I have sent for it 
amd will send it later. 

There is an article in this day's Times Literary Supplement 
declaring that the Dictionary of National Biography abounds 
with the grossest inaccuracies m respect of dates, facts, and 
references and appealing for a supplementary volume to consist 
entirely of corrigenda. I am pleased and perhaps spiteful. 

Cavaliere Negri has written saying that his paper on Crea is 
definitely to be published in the Casale Archaeological Magazine 
about May, and asking for any blocks I may be disposed to let 
him have. This means that I can now proceed with my work 
on Tabachetti, I am in doubt as to form and whether I will not 
do it by way of a completely new edition of Ex Voto. I lunched 
with Bernard Shaw to-day (by accidental coincidence) and left 
him an Ex Voto. He is to advise ; the desideratum is to get 
Grant Richards to publish, at his own risk, either a work on 
Tabachetti or a new Ex Voto. I have told Negri that he shall 

VOL. II 2 B 

370 MRS. GALLUP xu 

1902 have some blocks, but that it will be some dajrs before I can give 
Aet 66 exact size. I have asked him by what date he will want the 
blocks. The Shaws were most gracious and enthusiastic about 
the Erewhons. 

Waddington came. He will write to your brother. My 
chorus was declared to be somewhat too like the poor curates 
egg, but before he left it was quite creamy and new-laid. It is 
settled and really I believe very good now. He has started me 
with the scoring. 

Butler to Miss L. I. Jones. 

27 Jan. 1902 — ^I write to-day because I know I shall not be 
able to do so to-morrow by reason of the Surrey Pantomime amd I 
am sure your brother will be glad to have the Times facsimiles of 
the types on which Mrs. Galhip relies. I think these facsimiles 
want supplementing with Mallock's article in (I feel sure) the 
National Review for November. There is a letter from Mrs. 
Gallup ; if le style c'est Thomme holds good also for la femme, I 
do not think we need hesitate about knowing where to place her. 
I enclose her letter. 

I note that in the forthcoming Cornhill there is to be an 
article on the Sonnets. Now I wonder what we shall have there ! 
Some rubbish no doubt. 

At Miss Sichel's I was shown a short but most friendly review 
of Erewhon Revisited by Miss Sichel in the Monthh Review for 
January. They were all of them very friendly, but I got no such 
choice morsel for your brother's delectation as one that I told him 
of months ago— I mean about having to do without art or nature.^ 

A lady whom your brother knows told me that she was on 
the top of a bus one summer's afternoon and saw Leslie Stephen 
cross in front of the bus in an undecided sort of way, whereon the 
driver said, " Now then, come up. Monkey I " I wonder, as 
Kennedy said, that the earth did not open and swallow him up. 
What a pity that Leslie Stephen should be so deaf. 

I received a message from Mr. Fuller Maitland that I was not 
to go on to Phillimore Gardens, inasmuch as it was his first day 
of coming down stairs. Some virtuoso was to come and play 
before him and this, he thought, would be as much as he could 
stand. He is mending, but only slowly. 

I cannot get on with FitzGerald's Letters ; they are all right, 
but so fearfully monotonous — ^and uninterestingly monotonous. 
I shall be glad to change them for the Cornhill, but really the 
blame rests with Aldis Wright and not with FitzGerald. 

1 Tbii it introduced in the con venation at the dinner party in Erewkon Rtviuttd. 



I suppose now that I may write to your brother direct, may 190a 
I not ? Act 66 

Mr. Roskill (Cookers son-in-law) sent me a translation of parts 
of the famous speech of Pericles, by Frederic Harrison, and I was 
to admire it. I did not admire it, and translated a few sentences 
of it myself as an example of how I thought it should be done. 
He has written me a very obliging letter to the effect that he 
now agrees with me, and I am confirmed in the good opinion 
that I had already formed of him. 

Miss Coxhead has asked me to dine at her club in Albemarle 
Street on Feb. 13. at 7.45. I have accepted. 

I have no more Miss Savage, and am at the end of the notes 
I had made of things that your brother might care to hear, so will 
add no more. 

Butler's solicitor, Russell Cooke, married the widow 
of Ashton Dilke, whose daughter is the wife of Mr. John 
Roskill, K.C., so that strictly Butler ought to have 
written " Mrs. Cookc*s son-in-law." 

Bufkr to Mr. J. Roskill. 

25 Jan. 1902 — ^Frederic Harrison's translation is his own, at 
any rate it is not Dale's nor Crawley's ; but on reading it more 
critically I do not think it is what it ought to be. It does not 
flow musically on from sentence to sentence. I will not go into 
detail. I find it too often clumsy, stilted, Johnsonian, and 

I spent an hour this morning; in translating ten or a dozen 
lines more as I think they should be translated, and on doing so 
found that I should want at least another hour before I could get 
what I wanted, io I gave it up ; but overleaf you will find both 
Harrison's and my own attempts. 

F. Harrison 

The republican government is one that feels no jealousy nor 
rivalry with the institutions of others. We have no wish to 
imitate them ; we prefer to be an example to them. It is true 
that our constitution is a democracy, for it is filmed in the 
interest of all, not of any privileged class. Yet while the law 
secures to all in their private claims equal justice without fiivour 
of persons, we still recognise the claims of personal superiority, 
when a citizen is in any way distinguished bv his attainments ; 
and he is raised to eminence in the public service not as a matter 



1902 of privilege but as the prize of his merits. Nor again is poverty 
Act. 66 a bar with us to hinder a citizen who can confer some service on 
the state. 


It is not we who look with envy on the polity of our neigh- 
bours, we hold our own, rather than theirs, to be the more 
worthy of imitation. We ait a democracy inasmuch as we look 
more to the well-being of the many than of the few, and hence 
it is that our laws are no respecters of persons but will redress 
the grievances of any man without fear or favour. Moreover, as 
regards public honours, according as a man may deserve well of 
the state so will he be preferred, whether he be high or low, apart 
from class considerations. If again he is poor, no poverty will 
keep him down so long as he can do good service. 

Busier to H. F. Jones. 

31 Jan. 1902 — And now for what little gossip, and it is very 
little, that I can collect. I have edited a few of your letters 
this morning — no Milton required — you arc at St. Moritz — the 
Ristori, Mr. Browning, Mrs. Bloomfield Moore, Soglio and 
Promontogno year. That was the year, I think, in which I 
saw your mamma in her petticoats and stays at Bassano^but this 
incident was later — or was it the following year ? I shall find 
out as I go along. 

The Surrey Pantomime was a success. Victor Stevens was as 
good as ever — and when he came on in full fig, I was quite 
siuprised to see how young he still was. His, ^ No, no, no, no, 
no, no, no, no, no, NO " was as quick as ever, but the vulgarity 
was a good deal toned down from what it was in the old dajrs. 
True, there was still some vulgarity; the dear old familiar 
allusions to delirium tremens, of which there had been no trace 
at the Grand or at Drury Lane, were at the Surrey once more in 
evidence ; indeed, one man made quite a long speech whilst he 
^^ had got them." Then the Sultan had taken advantage of his 
Grand Vizier's hospitality and accepted a night's lodging; but 
he had got up earlv and gone away with two shillings which the 
Grand Vizier had imprudently left on the mantelpiece. The 
reiterated references, on the part of the Grand Vizier, to this 2/- 
forms one of the subjects, diversified treatment of which holds 
the piece together ; but the clothes were too good, and we 
missed the tattered and torn apparel of years ago. We missed 
the last seven pounds of coal being all slate ; the fimny man did 
not talk seriously to the cat and tell it that ^ it would get it at 

xiA H. C BEECHING 373 

the oil shop" or enquire ^if its mother had said that it was to 1902 
leave tuppence on the jar.** Still, there was a baths and wash- -^.ct. 66 
house scene in which Victor Stevens in stays, bathing-drawers, 
and long dishevelled black hair, as also all the other protagonists 
in extreme dishabille, came almost up to the old Grecian level. 

The article about the Sonnets in the Comhill [February 
1902] is .... It is by a Rev. H. W. Beeching, Professor of 
English Literature at King's College, London.^ He speaks of 
Sidney Lee with much respect, but does not agree with him. 
Of me he sajrs that my prolegomena are good reading enough 
when I am demolishing my predecessors, but that my own 
conclusions ^are negligible, and he says not a word about 
them. Sonnet 107 (^^Not mine own fears nor the prophetic 
soul" (Alfred shakes me)) can be certainly dated 1603. I think 
we may neglect him. 

There are two scathing letters on the Dictionary of National 
Biography in this morning's Times Literary Supplement aimed 
chiefly at Lee. 

Lee has an article in the Nineteenth Century on oral traditions 
about Shakespeare — adding nothing to our knowledge. 

Butkr to Miss L. L Jones. 

4 Feb, 1902 — ^This letter is going to be so stupid that I 
inflict it upon you rather than your poor brother and you can 
retail as much of it to him as you think fit. The fact is that on 
Sunday I never left my rooms after I once got into them, and 
saw nobody ; yesterday I was at the Museum, but again saw not 
a soul save Alfred, and never stirred out in the evening. To- 
day I have been to see some houses that I have in Attwell Road, 
Peckham, and you can tell your brother that though I shall have 
to lay out a great deal, I shall eet out of it better than I expected, 
but It has been very raw and cold work standing about. I do 
not think, however, that I have taken any harm. 

I am to lunch at the Shaws' to-morrow and have said I will 
eat vegetarian. I shall then hear what courses he recommends 
re my projected work on Tabachetti. When I last lunched 
there I met a man named Salt who has sent a prospectus of 
^ The Humanitarian League," of which he is honorary secretary, 
and a card for a lecture by Mr. Leighton Cleather on ^^ Wagner 
as a pioneer of Humanitarianism." Have we not here Mrs. 
Gallup in another form ? He has also sent me a pamphlet on 

^ Butler means the Rev. H. C. Beeching (now Dean of Norwich). He was 
Professor of Pastoral Theology (not of English Literature) at King's College, London, 



1902 Animals' Rights — ^The immediate question that claims our 
Aet. 66 attention is this : If men have rights, have animals their rights 
also?" This sentence, on which I lighted at random, is so 
absurdly suggestive of the Rights of Animals chapter which I 
have intercalated into my enlarged Erewhon that Mr. Salt (who 
published his pamphlet in IQOC^ may be excused for thinking 
that I had him in view when writing my own chapter — but I 
am innocent of all knowledge of his pamphlet. By the way, 
Shaw said that he regarded my chapter on the Rights of 
Vegetables as a direct attack upon himself — but he was not 

I saw the following in The Times a day or two ago. Farinelli 
(Handel's Farinelli) having made a large fortune in England 
returned to Italy and built himself a villa which he named 
« England's Folly." 

I may get some pabulum at Shaw's to-morrow, or again at 
the Morses' where I dine on Thursday. If I do it shall be duly 
chronicled, but till then I am afraid my stock is exhausted. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Feb. 7, 1902 — Waddington has come and gone — full of 
enquiry about you, and of kind messages. He has cordially 
approved the alterations I have made in my chorus, and I believe 
I may say thinks the whole chorus very satisfactory. The two 
parts together make 108 bars. We have begun to score it. 

The dinner last night [at the Morses'] went oiF, I should 
say, excellently, but on beginning to undress [after getting 
home] I found that my trousers, which I had tucked up on 
leaving the Tube, were still tucked up and I have no doubt were 
so during the whole evening. Poor me ! But I do not think it 
much mattered for I was distinctly the lion of the evening, all 
the guests being eager to talk about Erewhon Revisited except 
one man, who deflected me on to Life and Habit and would not 
let me leave it. He and another man asked if I had read 
Helvetius, and said that Schopenhauer had declared that if the 
Almighty had to limit his reading to a single book he would 
choose Helvetius. They said it would be a nice subject to 
select half-a-dozen books for the Almighty's reading. I said that 
at any rate we may be sure he would not read the Bible. There 
were several other things, but you must get them out of me on 
Sunday, as also whatever I can get from Gogin. 


xLi YDGRUN 375 

Bugler to the Editor of The Spectator 

15 Clifford's Inn, E.G., 
8 Feb. 1902. 

Sir — I called your Ap. 20, 1872, review of Erewhon 1902 
^ favourable '' and so it was ; I should have been captious if I had ^^^ ^^ 
called it anything else, for it, and the Pall Mall GaTutte article 
of Ap. 12, 1872, at once lifted the book into the position which, 
with all its faults, it has maintained. But I did not say that I 
liked, much less endorsed, everything in its whole four columns. 
On the contrary, I disliked extremely the passages quoted by your 
reviewer in your this day's issue. 

Your reviewer of to-day does not say that his predecessor in 
1872 had also written as follows : 

" What he '* (the author of Erewhon) " seems to want to 
impress upon his readers is . . . the wisdom of quietly taking 
your notions of what is best from the society round you. In one 
page the author confesses that the ^bigh Ydgrunites,' i.e. the 
higher worshippers of Ydgrun (Mrs. Grundy) . . . have got 
^ about as far as it is in the right nature of man to go' — z 
judgment which he only modifies by saying that they ought to 
speak out more clearly what they think. Of course this, too, may 
be veiled satire \ but if it is, the book is without definite drift, 
which no one who reads it carefully will readily believe." 

I should hope not. The above passage comes to this : that 
my " object ** and " intention " was sufficiently plain, viz. : to 
uphold the current conscience of a man's best peers as his safest 
moral guide. I intended this, intend it, and I trust always shall 
intend it. What sane man will uphold any other guidance as 
generally safer — exceptis, of course, exctpiendis ? 

My "object" and ** intention" having been thus clearly 
and correctly expressed, I disregarded the subsequent passage 
quoted in your this day's issue, as merely a reviewer's parting 
kick, and as rendered comparatively harmless by the fuller one 
that had gone before. The subsequent passage runs : 

"It is certainly quite true that if anyone will accept the 
implied satiric teaching of the book, he will find himself morally 
and intellectually * nowhere,' i.e. in Erewhon, when he has 

Your reviewer of to-day, ignoring the first of the two passages 
quoted above, tries to fasten it on me that I regard the second as 
" praise " inasmuch as speaking of the article as a whole I called 
it " fiivourable." Hence he deduces that "it riffhtly describes 
Mr. Butler's object^ and correctly indicates the result to which his 
satire is intended to lead." (Italics mine). He, or she, evidently 




1902 does not consider these words as involving a very disgraceful 

Act. 66 imputation ; if he (as we will say for brevity) did indeed so 

consider them, he would not use them so lightly. I differ from 

him ; and out of respect for the good opinion both of your readers 

and yourself must request you to publish the foregoing letter. 

Samuel Butler. 

Bufler to H. F. Jones. 

Ffbmaty 11/^ 1902. 

My dear Jones — How I am to fill this sheet I know not. 
If I succeed, the feeding of the 5,000 will be a small miiade in 
comparison, for I have, as it were, but a single literary loaf and 
fish for my nucleus. 

Talking of fishes did you see what I am told was in the 
Daily Mail about the sea-gulls ? I was going last Friday over 
London Bridge to Delph Street where I have a big job on 
(everything seems to come at once) and saw thousands of gulls 
and people on the bridge feeding them. They were lovdy, but 
they are unprincipled. A man was walking over London Bridze 
last week with a crate of fresh herrings on his head. The guDs 
swooped down on the fish in such numbers that he was powerless 
against them and half his fish were gone before he could get his 
crate down on to the pavement. 

The job at Delph Street will cost me near ^^loo. Sanitary 
inspector of course \ but it is a good job done— entire recon- 
struction of drains, and a lot more. The houses are freehold and 
will stand a large increase of rent, so that I shall be a gainer 
rather than loser by the job. 

Alfred and I have again been to Attwell Road this afternoon 
and were again starved, but I do not think we have taken any 
harm. Sanitary inspector, of course. I don't suppose I shall get 
out of it all under /400, and lucky if that covers it. The rents 
here, too, will stana some increase, but it is a nuisance. 

I told you of mv visit to the Fuller Maitlands ; but I forgot 
to say that they told me Nice is very full of small-pox now. So 
you had better not go and stav with your sister Cattie. They 
were very full of going to Sicily in April and May, and it seems 
quite on the cards that I may meet them and put them through 
Trapani and Mt. Eryx. We shall see. 

I sent my letter to The Spectator. I submitted it first to 
Rendall as well as to Grant Richards, and they both cordially 
approved of my sending, but they doubted whether the editor 
would insert it. Rendall said that several people had written to 
him admiring my Sonnet, and one or two indignantly, but these 
last fewer and less important. 


xu " Mt LOAF AND FISH " 377 

By the last post I am sure to have a line from Longman 190a 
declining to publish a new edition of Ex f^oto at his own risk. I Act. 66 
was bound to offer it to him before trying Grant Richards. As 
soon as he has declined it, I can see whether Grant Richards will 
do it or no. If he will not, I shall again appeal to Shaw for 

I have this morning received a long and most flattering review 
of Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited from the New Zealand 
Canterbury Press. They are very proud of the feet that Erewhon 
began in their own paper, and nothing is good enough for me. 
I must show it to Grant Richards when I take him Ex Foto^ and 
will send it on to you when he has seen it. It is far the most 
flattering article that I have ever had. 

I am puzzled by something in my correspondence. Do you 
remember our getting two bottles of some spirit or liqueur from 
Varese, one of which I was to take to my fether ? I remember 
sending him some honey from Promontogno as soon as I got 
home, but I am pretty sure that on an earlier occasion — say 1883 
or 1882 — I had taken him a bottle of liqueur which he examined 
in my presence to see whether or no it had been tampered with. 
Do you remember my ever saying anything to you about this ? I 
find that some years ago I made a note to this effect as regards the 
Promontogno honey, which note letters now read prove to have 
been wrong ; but the incident is sq strongly vivid to my mind 
that I cannot believe it to be an unconscious invention of my 
own. Please help me if you can. 

Erewhon (the old book) was casually mentioned quite friendly 
wise in last Friday's Times Literary Supplement, 

Monro, an Oxford don, has published the last 12 books of the 
Odyssey. Merry xiid the first twelve some years ago. Not a 
word about my theory. I am told, but have not seen the book, 
that there is no mention of what I have said about Trapani and 
Mt. £ryx in Douglas Sladen's Sicily. I shall not break my heart 
in either case. 

There — my loaf and fish have held out better than I feared 
they would, but I fear the loaf has been rather unleavened and 
the fish but as one of those Mediterranean gray mullets which we 
get in train restaurants. However, I have done my best. 

With very kind regards to your sister, — ^I am, Yours, 

S. Butler. 

I do not know whether his father really was suspicious, 
and perhaps Butler himself did not think he was. He 
said so much about the examining the liqueur and the 
honey as to make me think that he was trying to persuade 
himself. In the end it was settled that there was some- 

378 THE HORNS xii 

190a thing wrong in his notes, and that he had brought or sent 
-^*^-*^his father (i) the liqueur from Varese ; (2) the Pro- 
montogno honey ; and (3) some honey from Bertoli, the 
famous bee-master of Varallo-Sesia. He talked it over 
again with me at this time (1902) and inserted a correc- 
tion in his Note-Book, wherein he wrote that I remembered 
his telling me about it so long ago as during his father's 
life-time, and that I intimated that he had " frequently 
returned to the subject." That is quite correct, and I 
remember now that I conveyed this intimation in a 
form which made him laugh by quoting the Duke of 
Wellington's reply when the King, speaking of the Battle 
of Waterloo, said : 

" I was there, wasn't I, Duke ? " 

" I have heard your Majesty say so." 

I sent to Mudie's for Douglas Sladen*s book about 
Sicily, and found that what Butler had said about Trapani 
and Mount Eryx is mentioned in it, and I told him so. 
This is referred to in the next extract. 

Buder to H. F. Jones. 

Feb. 14M, 1902 — I thank you for two letters, one of Feb. 
1 2th, the other of yesterday. Your illustration about the 
immortality of the tune and not that of the fiddle is very fine. 
I told it to Streatfeild (as yours) this morning, and he admired it 
very much. I have edited your 1885 letters ; they are very good 
indeed, and Milton is only necessary in a passage of two about 
^'the horns," our feelings towardb whom need not now be 
expressed. There is also one passage which I have bowdlerised 
and which I enclose on a separate piece of paper that you may 
tear it up. If you wish it unbowdlerised I can easily re-insert 
it in your letter. I am sorry to lose it, but I suppose it had 
better go. 

Certainly my note about my father's examining the lid of the 
Promontogno honey-jar is wrong. I sent it by parcel post and 
received a letter next day acknowledging the receipt. I shall 
wait till I have got through the 1886 letters to see if I can find a 
clue to what really happened. I cannot think that I dreamed or 
invented the storv, but I am puzzled. 

Thank you for telling me about Douglas Sladen*s book. I 
will see it as soon as they get it at the Museum. 

Very glad that you are so distinctly gaining ground, but be 


careful. I have caught cold — the cooling rooms at the Turkish 1902 
Bath last Wednesday were much too cold. I was very doubtful Aet. 66 
about going to Miss Coxhead's, but went, and do not think it 
did me any harm. I am sitting in my great coat all day, and 
have been out twice, once to see Streatreild, and again this after- 
noon to Islington, where I found all well. Now I am keeping 
snug and warm and expect to be able to go to Harwich to-morrow. 
I want a day or two's change. 

At Miss Coxhead's the conversation turned, inter alia, on what 
one was to do when people consulted one about whether they 
should get married or no. I said I had a very simple rule. If I 
thought I should have to give them a wedding present I strongly 
advised them to refrain, otherwise I left them to follow their own 
instincts. I advised Cesare Coppo not to marry, but I think in 
this case I should have given the same advice, wedding present 
or no. 

P.S. — To thwart the American attempt to monopolise the 
English tobacco trade, I have at Alfred's instigation got 300 
cigarettes of Lambert & Butler's, but most of them draw so badly 
that it is no pleasure to smoke them. Serve me right I 

I do not know why he should have told the illustration 
about immortality to Streatfeild as mine. I read it in I 
forget, what book and never claimed it as mine. The 
author may have been thinking of the illustration about 
the harmony and the lyre which Simmias introduces in 
the conversation with Socrates before his death in the 
Phaedo. At the time neither Butler nor I was reminded 
of Plato ; and perhaps the author was not thinking of the 
passage, for his object was not the same as that of Simmias. 
He was drawing the contrast between the life of the 
corporeal fiddle and the life of the incorporeal tune 
played on the fiddle. The fiddler perhaps symbolises 
** the ineffable contradiction in terms whose presence none 
can either ever enter, or ever escape" {Luck or Cunning? 
P- ^53)> but I do not remember that anything was said 
about Him. Nor was it pointed out that neither the life 
of the fiddle nor that of the tune is, strictly speaking, 
immortal ; the first can continue only so long as the wood 
holds together, and the second only so long as there are 
men to remember the tune, to be influenced by it, and to 
pass it on. 

38o THE TRUE HFE xu 

1901 But using the word loosely, as one may do for the 
Act. 66 g^i^g Qf ^j^ illustration, he was illustrating the contrast 
between the immortality in a material sense of the body, 
and the immortality in a spiritual sense of the work done 
by the body, the inference being that the latter is the only 
desirable or comprehensible immortality. I told this to 
Butler because I knew that he would consider it ** very 
fine.*' 1 knew that he was thinking of himself when 
he composed the Epitaph, reproduced in chapter x. of 
Erewhon Revisited^ for Mr. Higgs to copy while resting 
in the Musical Bank at Fairmead : 








This is the true life of the world to come, this life 
which we, like the tune played on the fiddle, live in the 
hearts and memories of others. It may be objected that 
this is all very well, but that every man is endowed with 
this immortality at birth, for everything, however slight, 
that any one ever does produces an efrect which in some 
way influences others ; there is no escape. We can how- 
ever strive, while the power to strive is yet vouchsafed us, 
that those others in whose hearts and memories we are to 
live hereafter shall remember us with love and not with 

Mrs. Boss, though she be all-forgetting, is not all- 
forgotten. She lives, and is at this moment influencing 
me as she influenced Butler when, in the foregoing letter, 
he alluded to ** the horns " immediately after the passage 
about the fiddle and the tune. In moments of depression 
she used to exclaim : '^ Oh, I wish the horn would blow 
for me and the worms take me this very night ! " She 
would never have understood if she had been told that 
Butler, by putting this aspiration of hers into the mouth 
of Mrs. Jupp in The fVay of All Fleshy had conferred 


immortality upon her. When she wished the horn to ^9^* 
blow for her she meant she was impatient for the sound 
of the last trump. By some figure of rhetoric, of which 
she consciously knew no more than she knew of theology, 
she skilfully shifted the name of the instrument to any 
person whose earthly loss she considered would not be 
irreparable. And we caught the trick from her. 

Bufler to Mr. O. T. J. Alpers^ Christchurch^ 

New Zealand. 

17 Feb, 1902. 

My dear Sir — I cannot allow the receipt of the extremely 
kind and gratifying article which reached me a few days ago to 
pass without a few lines expressive of the pleasure it has caused 
me. The only fault I have to find with it is that it praises both 
books too highly. As for Erewhon^ it wanted re-writing ; but 
as that tree fell so it had to lie, save for what additions were 
necessary in order to secure it a new copyright. Erewhon 
Revisited^ I confess, I prefer ^ and though scales will doubtless 
fall from my eyes in respect to it if I live a few years longer, at 
present I am afraid I am better pleased with it than perhaps any 
author ought to be with his own work. 

When I was studying painting in my kind old friend Mr. 
Heatherley's studio, I remember hearing a student ask how long 
a man might hope to go on improving. Mr. Heatherley said : 
^^As long as he is not satisfied with his own work.*' Absit 
omen ! May dissatisfaction greater than I now feel ere long 
discipline me in great revenue! 

Alas, it is not only ^ more than 30 years ** since the embryo 
of Erewhon appeared in The PresSj but close on ±0 ! What a 
great gap of time yawns between now and then ! And so in 
those days I was enthusiastic about Titian i No doubt ; but' 
he has not held his own with me as Handel has done. Handel, 
like Homer and Shakespeare, grips me ever with tighter hold ; 
what hold Titian, Leonardo, Rafiaelle, and Michael Angelo have 
over me (and — well, to speak quite plainly, I like none of them) 
is a hold on brain, not on heart. But let that pass. 

If you knew, as none but myself and a few intimate friends 
know, how fiercely and continuously I have been vituperated 
almost from the very day on which Erewhon ceased to be 
anonymous, you would understand the relief it is to me to have 
at last written a book that has met with a cordial, generous 
reception. There have been few reviews of Erewhon Kevisited 


1902 to which the most captknis author could take exception, but the 
Act. 66 iatermediate booia have all been dead fiulures ; so much so that 
I am now more than /i,ioo to the bad with my^ books as a 
whok — a sum which being spread over 30 jreais has never 
pinched me. I cannot appeal ad miserioordiam ; I am exceedingly 
comfortaUj off; but I mention the sum to show how utterly 
flat the books have fallen as regards the numbers of their readers, 
though I doubt whether there is a single one of them that has 
not made a certain mark. 

How could I expect anjrthtng else ? With Erewhon Charles 
Darwin smelt danger from a&r. I knew him personallv; he 
was one of mj grandfather's pupils. He knew very w^ that 
the machine chapters in Enwham would not end there, and the 
Darwin circle was then the most important literary power in 

I fear Ernuhan did not find favour again with the religious 
woiid. Still less did its successor, Thi Fair HaveUj do so. 
With Life and Habit the fat was in the Darwinian fire, and it 
was war to the death between us. This, and its successors, 
Evolutimt Old and NeWj UnconscUm Memorjy and Luck or 
Cunning ?, to quote the words of a leader of the Darvnnian party 
that were reported to me, ^made Butler impossible.** I 
sandwiched Alps and- Sanctuaries in between the two last-named 
books, but I had got too bad a name for it to find favour with 
more than a very few, who, however, were delighted with it. 
Then came Ex Voto in which I fell feul of Layard, and unearthed 
a whole school of sculpture of which the pundits of art knew 
nothing. No man can do this and be received with open arms. 
Then came my Life of Dr. Butler — a book which was well 
received enough, but over which I was thankful not to have 
dropped much more than ^200 ; and by tilting at Arnold I 
angered all Arnold's still powerful worshippers. Then came 
The Authoress of the Odyssey. Why more ? The fact is that I 
have never written on any subject unless I believed that the 
authorities on it were hopelessly wrong. If I thought them 
sound, why write? The consequence is that I have through- 
out, I am profoundly thankfiil to say, been in a very solitary 
Ishmaelitish position, and I heartily trust that the temporary 
success of this last book may not tempt me. to abandon the 
attitude which for so many years I have maintained, on the 
whole greatly to the satisfaction of my own conscience. Pardon 
me, dear Sir, for the length to which this letter has extended 
itself (which it would not have done, but fi>r the warmly 
sympathetic tone of your own article), and believe me, — ^Yours 
very truly, S. Butler. 


Butler to H. F. Jones. 

Feb, 19, 1902. 

My dear Jones — I write a few lines before going to 1901 
Alexander Balus^ but I have hardly a thing to tell you ; and if it ^^^ ^^ 
was not for Alexander Balus and Handel I should not stir out 
again this evening, for my cold is still heavy, chiefly through my 
own fault. This long spell of cold has stopped my Thursday 
outings, and my Sunday outings (for it is really the cold and not 
your illness that has stopped them), and put me off twice from 
Harwich ; so that I am not quite at my best, and have stuck 
too closely to editing correspondence and copying and scoring 
music However, I shall do nothing this evening, and to-morrow 
Alfred and I mean to go for a walk. 

Talking of doing nothing, did I tell you that in one of Miss 
Savage's letters she wrote of a man who had an unexpected 
holiday on a summer's day and could not make up his mind 
whether he should go to the Green Park and lie out all day under 
a tree, or whether he should do nothing 7 

My knees continuing very stiff and rheumatic, I went to 
Jaeger's and bought m3rseif a pair of woollen knee-warmers which 
I hope wiU mend matters, price 2/9. 

I called on old Mrs. Tylor and Mrs* Morse on Sunday 
afternoon, and learned that the Mr. Guthrie who was very civil 
to me when I dined at the Morses* was F. Anstey, author of 
Vice Versa^ etc. You must tell me what pretty things to say 
to him if we meet again. He was a very pleasant little man. 

Grant Richards has not yet returned the article in The Press^ 
but I am to have it to-morrow morning and will send it on. 
Meanwhile there has appeared a quite friendly review — not very 
long, but enough — of Erewhon Revisited in the Antologia Nuova^ 
the leading literary Italian paper. Cesare Coppo copied it out 
and sent it. Grant Richards has it, and I will send it on when 
I get it back. I saw him this morning but neither asked nor was 
told his views about Ex Voto, 

I have settled my correspondence now as far as the death of 
my fiither, Dec. 29th, 1886, and am thankful to have done so, 
for the period is not a pleasant one to resuscitate, and I think I 
shall find all subsequent years easier and quicker editing. I am, 
however, piling up an accumulation of rubbish in this corre- 
spondence with you, which when I reach 1902 I shall find 
troublesome. Pray get well quickly. On the other hand, for 
the present I know that you are better where you are. 

May [Miss Butler] has seen my letter to The Spectator and 
" we are a little sorry you said that about the he or she — however 
true the she — as your letter seemed to lose a little dignity by it.** 


1901 I wonder what hole-piddng Shrewsbury neighbour has called and 

Aet. 66 put them up to this. I hope you do not see anything to object 

to in what I said. Streatfeild, Barwick, RendaU, Grant Richards, 

and you — none of you made any comment and I can see nothing 

to object to in the passage. Tell me if you do. 

And now, pray get well as som as ivtr you cauy but not fiister 
than is prudent. With kind regards to your sister, — I am, Yrs. 

S. Butler* 

Butler to Grant Richards. 

20 Feh. 1902 — Pray do not return the copy of E* Faio unless, 
that is to say, you do not even feel inclined to give it house room. 
I am not surprised at your not being inclined to risk money on a 
new edition, and I agree with you that it is only the ofF-chsince of 
getting some young publisher to wish to get my name on his list 
that would incline any other publisher whatever to take it up-^ 
and this is infra dig. 

I propose, therefore, to change my scheme and write a new 
book of about 200 pp. (though how to fill so many, I don't know 
yet — but they will come) entitled Ifian ie Wtspin (/./. Giovanni 
Tabachetti) with whatever additional condiment consideration may 
suggest, giving a good deal of what I have already said in Ex Voto 
about him, and aU that I have since learned, and shall learn from 
Cav. Negri's forthcoming monograph about him. The illustra- 
tions should give (from new blocks) most if not all those given 
in Ex Voto, Those in Ex Voto are collotype and no more can 
be got. 

I propose to say nothing about the other Valsesian sculptors, 
but to limit myself to Jean die Wespin (alias Giovanni Tabachetti) 
and I think a pretty book enough might be made on this subject. 

My point is this. At Namur the Archaeological Society and 
at Casale Monferrato my friend Cavaliere Negri are begging 
me to help them with blocks of Tabachetti's chapel. I have 
promised them some which, of course, I must have made at my 
own expense, but I shall insist on having the blocks returned to 
me for use in my own book. The size of those used in Ex Voto 
would suit them very well, and I should think would suit my 
book. Kindly consider whether you think the Ex Voto page a 
suitable one for the work I contemplate. I will call in a day or 
two and hear your opinion. I want if possible to have blocks 
made that will suit the Namur people, the Casale people and 

Perfidious man ! You have not returned the Antologia review. 
It will do quite well if you give it me when next I call. I write 
to Alpers at once. 

la W 



I know you will give me a chalk for showing you exactly the 1902 
poverty of my hand in respect to sales of Ex Foto. Act. 66 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

21 Feb. 1902 — ^Grant Richards is very reasonably afraid of 
taking up Ex f^oto so I change my tactics and contemplate 
a short book entitled Jean de fyespin^ othirwise known as 

Waddington has been here this afternoon full of sympathetic 
enquiries about you as usual. He said Stanford was a great 
admirer of Narcissus — but I think we have heard that before. I 
went to Alexander Balus and stayed to the last note. The 
overture is excellent. " Calumny," of course, tremendous. They 
murdered ^^ Convey me to some peaceful shore '* by dragging it 
past endurance. There were two fine airs that I had forgotten, 
^^ Strange rq^erse of human &te " and ^^ To God, who made the 
radiant sun." No part was dreary except the recitatives, but 
there was a good deal which did not rise above Handel's more 
common form music. 

By this time I was recovering and beginning to go 
out and so the "accumulation of rubbish in this 
correspondence" with me began to lessen. The next 
extract refers to my going down to Clifford's Inn to 
see him. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

22 Feb. 1902 — ^Any afternoon will suit Alfred and me (Alfred, 
by the way, has been telling me that he does not mean to allow 
me to be cremated in my teeth — meaning my false teeth with the 
gold frame) except Tuesday, when we go again to Peckham, and 
Thursday till 4.30 : by 4.30 we are sure to be at home. 

Butler to H. F. Jones. 

25 Feb. 1902 — Thank you for returning the Antologia. I do 
not suppose it will make a single Italian read the book but it will 
get talked of in Sicily and indirectly do some good to my 
Odyssey theory. 

I send you now a long and very illegible letter from Rendall 
{Athenaeum) about my book on the Sonnets. What a comfort it 
is to find that someone else besides yourself is gifted with 
intelligence I 

VOL. II 2 C 


Butier to Mr. O. T. J. Alpers^ Christchurch^ New Zealand, 

6 March 190a. 

190a Dear Sir — My answer to your very kind letter of Jan. 29, 

Aet. 66 posted by me by anticipation on Feb. 17, is already by this time 
half way on its journey to Christchurch, and as it was, I fear, 
rather lone I will ask you to be kind enough to consider this as a 
simple P.S. When I wrote the body of the letter I supposed 
myself indebted to you for the copy of your article, which, pray 
believe me, is much the most appreciative that any of my boolcs 
has ever received, and much the most flattering to mvself. 

When Sir Julius von Haast was here in 1887 I gave him a 
complete set of all the books that I had published up to that date, 
with a request that he would place them in whatever public 
library (I rather think he named that of the College) was the most 
appropriate. I have often wondered whether his death, which 
happened not long after his return to New Zealand, might not 
have prevented the carrying out of my intention. Since 1887 I 
have written about as many books as I had done up to that date. 
Perhaps you or Miss Colborne-Veel would be kind enough to see 
whether the books were placed in any of the public libraries, and 
if so, in which. I shall be very glad to send a complete set (except 
my book about Canterbury of which I have only one copy and 
which has been long out of print) or the balance of those that have 
appeared since 1887 in case the earlier ones are already in your 
library. On being advised, by you, or Miss Colborne-Veel, or 
Mr. Triggs, as to what is wanted, I will send them at once. I 
should perhaps say that Unconscious Memory is a very scarce book 
— some vears out of print. I have only 3 copies. Again thanking 
you, and resolute not to overrun the page. — I am, Dear Sir,* 
Yours very truly, 

S. Butler. 

Butler to Mr. T. L. Agar. 

28 March 1902 — One line before I start for Sicily (as I do in 
an hour's time) to say that either the Coin Room people have 
modified their opinion, or I (which is perhaps more probable) 
misunderstood them, and that they now do not see much analogy 
to Eryx and Segesta coins in the lakin coin [ The Authoress of the 
Odyssey^ p. 227] and do see considerable analogy to Catanian coins 
in the head of the river-god. Therefore, without professing to be 
confident either way, they incline to place the coin as coming from 
the neighbourhood of Catania. 

This does not touch the &ct that the coin on one side is 


intended to represent Ulysses's brooch. We are all agreed about 1901 
that. Nor yet that the subject was chosen as indicating some -^et. 66 
special connection with the Udyssey \ here again we are all agreed. 

The question is why a city on the West side of Sicily should 
claim connection with the Odyssey and why they should be 

For reasons far too long to write I can tmderstand this 
perfectly well. The city was wrong, but within ten miles north 
of Catania we have Aci-Trezza (always by the common people 
called laci-Trezza), Aci-Reale, Aci-Castello (also pronounced by 
the vulgar laci), and Aci-Trezza claims to this day to be the 
site of Ulysses's adventure with Polyphemus. I therefore give 
up the Ionian city near Trapani and think it likely that the coin 
came from some Ionian town on the East side of Sicily ; the sea 
that washes this is given in the maps of to-day as the ^ Mare 
lonio," so that lonians as well as Dorians were probably settled 

My own argument that the Odyssey was written entirely at 
Trapani remains where it was. I alwajrs said I gave the coin as 
a hors d'ocuvre. If the Coin Room people continued to place it 
as an Eryx and Segesta coin I should have stuck to it, but as they 
do not I very willingly abandon it. 


190a — Part II 


1901 Butler left London for Sicily on Good Friday 28th 
Act. 66 March 1902. He had been looking forward to the 
journey and had written to his friends in the south that 
he was coming. Mr. and Mrs. Fuller Maitland were 
going to Sicily also ; they were to meet him and he was 
to accompany them to Trapani and to show them the 
country of the Odyssey. I was not sufficiently recovered 
to go, but it was settled that I should start later and meet 
Butler in North Italy on his return. 

From Paris Butler wrote to me that on the boat, 
crossing to Calais, he met a man he slightly knew who 
told him — 

• • . a very singular thing, i.e, that Eustathius, the earliest com- 
mentator upon Homer in post-Christian times, circ. a.d. 900- 
1 100, says that Homer took much of his poems from a poem 
written by a woman, which was preserved in the temple of 
Memphis in Egypt. At Rome I will verify. I hope you are 
mending. I am all right now. 

He followed his usual route to Casale-Monferrato 
where he found himself so unaccountably weak that he 
sent for Dr. Giorcelli and stayed two days to recover; 
The Negri family and the Coppo family both tried to 
make him rest. " Stay here a fortnight," they said, " you 
are not well enough to travel ; recover your health and 
then go." But he only replied that he had promised to 
go to Sicily and intended to keep his promise. They 


^^ .^^^.^ *<^^ ;L^^ McU^^^^u^ 

/ ffC<0 ^?i^ 4t^Kt t^,^<yr u/l/y^ 

390 DR. THURNAM xui 

x9oa There I now you see why I cannot give you an address. 

Act. 66 Better write here. I miss you very much, but at the same time 
am mast thankful that you are not with me. It is a great relief to 
me and makes things much easier for me, for I can run myself 
quite well. ... I sauntered to the Collegio Romano yesterday 
and found my passage. It runs : 

^ Tis said that one Naucrates has recorded how a woman of 
Memphis, named Phantasia, a teacher of philosophy, daughter of 
Nicharchus, composed the stories of the war before Ilius and the 
wanderings of Ulysses, and placed the books in the temple of 
Hephaestus at Memphis. Whereon Homer came there and 
having obtained copies of the originals wrote the Iliad and the 
Odyssey. Some say that either he was an Egyptian born, or 
travelled to Egypt and taught the people there." 

How like this is to the corruption of the story of Owen 
Parfitt given in my LifiofDr. Butler^ or to the change of Stefano 
Scotto m the ^'Ecce Homo*' chapel [at Varallo-Sesia] into a 
portrait of Tanzio d* Enrico in vulgar Varallo tradition : the 
truth being that the next figure to Stefano Scotto was a portrait 
of his brodier, Giovanni d' Enrico. Eustathius died a.d. 1023 
Bishop (or Archbishop) of Thessalonica. 

The English doctor who was staying in the hotel was 
Dr. Rowland Thurnam. I made his acquaintance a few 
years after Butler's death ; he came to the Fifth Erewhon 
dinner in July 1 9 1 2 and made a speech telling us about 
his meeting with Butler. It seems that Dr. Thurnam 
got into conversation with a stranger during dinner at 
the hotel in Rome ; something was said about Sicily — I 
think Thurnam was returning from there — and the 
stranger said he was on his way to Trapani and Mount 
Eryx and added something about the Odyssey. Thurnam, 
who had read The Authoress^ said : 

*^Oh! but in that case you ought to talk to old 

" I am old Butler," replied the stranger. 

So they sat up talking till about three in the morning, 
with the waiter looking in time after time to see how 
soon it would be possible for him to turn out the lights 
and go to bed. And this midnight conversation with 
"an enthusiastic admirer," like the conversation at 
Pcsaro with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Strong the year before, 
did him more good than any medicine. 


J. H. BAKER 391 

It happened that there was also staying in the hotel 1902 
Mr. John H. Baker whose daughter, at the table d'hdte, ^^ ^^ 
pointed out Butler to her father saying : 

**Do you see that old gentleman with the shaggy 
eyebrows sitting over there ? Fve nicknamed him the 

Baker looked at the gentleman and felt as though he 
had come into his life at some time, but could not 
remember under what circumstances. An idea occurred 
to him and as soon as an opportunity offered he went 
and sat next the Philosopher, and said : 

'* Were you ever in New Zealand ? '* 

" Yes. About forty years ago." 

Baker looked at him again and then said : 

" You're Sam Butler." 

" Yes — and, by God ! you're John Baker." 

These two had not met since the days of their 
prospecting for country in New Zealand — the days when 
they had found the pass, afterwards crossed by Whitcombe, 
which is described as the entry to Erewhon, the davs 
when they lived, when they were all agog for " country ' ; 
as Colonel Lean says in his letter to Butler (ante, p. 170) — 

. . • when I found you at the club with a rim above your sun- 
and-glacier-burnt mask which told me of your explorations before 
your own narrative. You found a better thing than 'country* — 
you found Erewhon. 

After a rest in Rome he considered himself well 
enough to go to Naples and by boat to Palermo, where 
he arrived 12th April, the Fuller Maitlands arriving 
there about the same time. He wrote asking me to 
send him a sixpenny novel or two ; he had read Man 
and Wife and had looked into Phroso and liked it fairly 
well ; but, as he did not like Quisanti^ which he found in 
the hotel in Rome, he thought he would not try any 
more Anthony Hope. He wrote to me from Palermo : 

No, please send me a volume of George Meredith (I think 
there is a cheap edition) and mv blood be upon my own head. 

Later on. No, I am not oetter and must stay here a dav or 
two, I think; but will see how I am to-morrow and will let 
you know. 

392 CHARLOTTE xui 

1902 So it went on for a month. He wrote that he was 

Act. 66 better and repeatedly said how thankful he was I was not 
with him to add to his anxieties. Nevertheless, if I had 
been well enough I should have gone to him and chanced 
his objecting to my doing so, and I should have found 
him very much worse than he would admit. Mrs. Fuller 
Maitland was ill also. Fuller Maitland spent most of 
his time between the two sick-rooms and the chemist's 
shop, and sometimes Mrs. Fuller Maitland sent her maid 
to offer help to Butler. After he had been in Palermo 
about a fortnight the doctor made him have a nurse, a 
very competent Austrian woman. The coming of the 
nurse cheered him up and he wrote that he had turned 
the corner. There were also Ingroja, who came down 
from Calatafimi, Angelo Li Bassi, and Ingroja*s nephew, 
Michele Utveggio ; they all came to see him and he 
found them about as much as he could stand ; but I 
think he would have missed their visits if they had left 
off" coming, and he merely put it as he did to support his 
statement that he did not want Alfred or me. 

One day he received a letter from one of his sisters 
and talked about her to Fuller Maitland, taking the line 
adopted by Edward Overton in the passage from chapter 
Ixxxvi. of The Way of All Flesh where he speaks of 
Ernest's sister Charlotte : 

There is a de haut en has tone in all her letters ; it is rather 
hard to lay one's finger upon it, but Ernest never gets a letter 
fi-om her without feeling that he is being written to by one who 
has had direct communication with an angel. ''What an awful 
creature," he once said to me, ''that angel must have been if it 
had anything to do with making Charlotte what she is.** . . . 
Her letters are supposed to be unusually well written and I 
believe it is said among the family that Charlotte has far more 
real literary power than Ernest has. ... I daresay she writes 
very well but she has fallen under the dominion of the words 
"hope," "think," "feel," "try," "bright," and "little," and can 
hardly write a page without introducing all these words and 
some of them more than once. AH this has the effect of making 
her style a little monotonous. 

"Come now," said Fuller Maitland, bantering him, 
" aren't you rather hard on your sister i Isn't she really 


a very good sort of woman ? I'm sure of one thing : 190* 
When she dies she will go straight up to Heaven, ^^ ^ 
whereas you '* 

" I'm not afraid of anything of that kind," interrupted 
Butler ; ** the Almighty's taste in literature is far too 
good to allow of his committing such an error." 

Then he talked to Fuller Maitland about his books 
and how Erewhon was his Alpha and Erewhon Revisited 
his Omega. This is the conversation he alludes to in the 
P.S. of the following letter. 

Early in May he was considered well enough to be 
moved and on the nth the nurse brought him to Naples, 
and he sent for Alfred to go out and help to bring him 

Butler to Mr. and Mrs. Fuller Maitland. 

Return (if it fail to reach) to S. Butlbr. 15. Clifibrd's Inn, London B.C. 

Bbrtolini's Palacb Hotel 
Naples fFeti, May 14, 1902. 

A perfect Hotel. 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Fuller Maitland — I did not answer 
Mr. Fuller Maitland's very kind letter sent to Palermo, for 
lack of sufficient address. This may, and I trust will, be 
forwarded from Rome. I now write to say that there is no 
doubt that I am far more gravely ill than was suspected by any 
of us, and am only being hurried home as a prelude to consulta- 
tions, operations, and artificial prolongations of what Christian 
charity should curtail. 

So be it ! Alfred starts from London to-day. He and the 
nurse are to accompany me both of them to Basle and Alfred to 
London. The doctor fully believes that I may reach London 
much as now, and there may be weeks or even months before the 
end comes, but I can see he has not the faintest doubt what the 
end is to be. 

Therefore with infinite thanks for infinite kindness received 
from both of you and every cordial good wish for many years of 
happiness ancl health to you both, I bid you both heartily 
farewell. No answer, please. — Always very affectionately to botn 
of you, S. Butler. 

You will not forget the pretty roundness of my literary 
career ! a Erewhon^ w Erewhon Revisited. 


Buikr to J. A. Fuller Maitland. 

190s 16 May 1902 — Alfred is expected hourly but not yet 

^^ ^^ come. • . • 1 am no better and dread the journey to England, 
but I doubt whether the doctor takes quite so gloomy a view of 
my ultimate chance as he did when I wrote. 

You shall hear as soon as we reach London — ifwi reach it — 
but please send an address. We travel as fast as we can. No 
more please, but all love to you both. 

Alfred arrived and they travelled straight through, 
dropping the nurse at Calais and reaching London on 
1 9th May. The editor of Quo Vadis f sent from Trapani 
a copy of his newspaper which I suppose contained some 
allusion to Butler or his books. 

Butler to the Editor ofQfio Vadis ? 

15 Cufpord's Inm, £.C 
Maggio 22, 1902. 

Caro Signorb — Tomato a casa con grande difficolti, un 
raio di giomi fa, sotto le ali di una guardia di ammalato da 
ralermo, e del mio domestico chiamato da me a Napoli, in uno 
stato di estrema debolezza, e con poca speranza di guarigione, 
scrivo queste righe per ringraziaria di aver mi spedito due numeri 
del ^uo Fadis ? di Aprile 2, 1902, i quali ho letto con vivo 
piacere. AI medesimo tempo, saluto gli amici Trapanesi, li 
abbraccio, alzo mio cappello, e li dico cordialmente addia — 
Sono sempre il suo servitore aff^ e dev"^ S. Butler. 

ITranslattM) «5 Clifpord's Ink, E.C. 

^ ' May 22, 1902. 

Dear Sir — Having returned home with great difficulty a 
couple of days ago, under the wing of a nurse from Palermo and 
of my servant whom I sent for from Naples, in a state of extreme 
weakness and with little hope of recovery, I write these lines to 
thank you for having sent me two copies of the ^0 Vadis f of 
April and, 1902, which I have read with real pleasure. At the 
same time I salute my Trapanese friends, I embrace them, I 
raise my hat and I bid them a cordial farewell. — I am always, 
Your very affectionate and devoted servant, S. Butler. 

The doctor at Naples had alarmed Butler ; he started 
too suddenly and travelled too fast for me to join him on 


the Continent, but as soon as I knew he was in London 1902 
I followed. By an odd chance Mr. and Mrs. Fuller ^"^ ^^ 
Maitland were in the train by which I travelled from 
Basel to Folkestone, and Fuller Maitland told me many 
of the particulars given above about Butler's illness in 

On reaching London I went at once to the nursing 
home to which Dr. Dudgeon had had Butler moved from 
Clifford's Inn. Physically he had changed very much 
since I had last seen him, two months before. He was 
shrunk, feeble, and shockingly pale. His complexion 
had always been florid — ^Gogin complained of the difficulty 
of painting it in 1 896 — and even before starting for his last 
journey to Sicily his face was the colour I had always 
known it ; but now he was as white as the sheets of his 
bed. His letters from Palermo had shown me that he 
was not himself mentally ; he forgot whether he had 
written yesterday ; he told me the same thing twice ; he 
had an idea, and this worried him terribly, that if one of 
us were to die there would be trouble about our respective 
rights in the music we had published together, whereas 
the matter had already been considered and dealt with by 
his will and mine. When I saw him in London I noticed 
at once that mentally he was himself again ; the thing that 
troubled him most, after his physical health, was his will 
which he wanted to revise. But he knew that in a few 
days he could re-make his will, and Dr. Dudgeon had 
assured him that the doctors he had seen in Italy were 
wrong and there would be no need for any operation. 

In altering his will he directed Mr. Clark, who came 
from Russell Cooke's office, to put himself down for a 
legacy of jfioo. On reflection, he said it was hard lines 
to dangle jf 1 00 before the poor man and then get well : 

"When you have told anyone you have left him a 
legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once, and 
here am I getting better and better and stronger and 
stronger every day." 

So Alfred had to fill up a cheque for £ 50 for Clark 
to go on with until such time as the legacy might become 



1902 In spite of his gaiety and cheerfulness it was obvious 

Act. 66 ^^^ |jg ^jjg y^^y jjj — f^ worse than he had ever been 

before. I also knew, as soon as I saw him, that he had 
really wanted me at Palermo and that I should not have 
added to his anxieties if I had been well enough to travel 
so far. My presence there could not have made any real 
difference ; he was far too ill for that ; but I shall never 
cease to regret that things fell out so that I could not be 
with him. 

He was not comfortable in the home, and Alfred and 
I moved him to another which Dr. Dudgeon found in 
St. John's Wood where there was nothing to complain 
of. He wrote and told his sisters the provisions of his 
new will as soon as it was executed, because the knowledge 
might influence them in dealing with their own property ; 
and he wrote this letter himself in case they might not 
have liked to receive a letter touching on their private 
afFdrs in Alfred's handwriting. 

He talked about his books and of what he intended 
to do if he got well. There was the novel to be revised ; 
a new edition of Ex Voto^ with the mistakes corrected, 
to be prepared ; the book about Jean de Wespin, alias 
Tabachetti, to be written ; the Universal Review articles 
to be reconsidered and perhaps republished ; more sketches 
to be painted and more music to be composed. While 
lying ill and very feeble within a few days of the end, 
and not knowing whether it was to be the end or not, 
he repeated to me something like what he had said to 
Fuller Maitland in Palermo about " the pretty roundness " 
of his literary career : 

" I am much better to-day ; I don't feel at all as 
though I were going to die ; of course, it will be all 
wrong if I do get well, for there is my literary position 
to be considered. First I write Erewhon — that is my 
opening subject ; then, after modulating freely through 
all my other books and the music and so on, I return 
gracefully to my original key and publish Erewhon 
Revisited, Obviously now is the proper moment to 
come to a full close, make my bow and retire ; 
but I believe I am getting well, after all. It's very 


inartistic, but I cannot help it. However, we shall 190* 

Q^p '» Act. 66 

I tried to comfort him by telling him that his recovery 
would give him an opportunity for a coda of considerable 
length on a tonic pedal. " You might make that very 
artistic indeed ; you know you always liked a tonic 

But it was not of much use, for in himself he believed 
he was dying, but he was not going to say so. 

One day he asked me to bring Solomon^ that he might 
refresh his memory as to the harmonies of " With thee 
th' unsheltered moor Td tread.*' It was almost the last 
thing he ever asked me to do for him. And I did not do 
it. I knew he was not equal- to looking at the music, and 
next day he had forgotten all about it. 

Dr. Dudgeon told him that when he got well he 
must not go back to Clifford's Inn ; he must have a 
flat in a more airy situation. So he gave notice to quit 
Clifford's Inn ; and I gave notice to quit Staple Inn and 
was to look for a flat for myself, not too near his new 
flat, about as near as Staple Inn is to Clifford's Inn. In 
the meantime, as my sister Lilian was going to Sweden 
for a holiday, it was arranged that she should lend us her 
flat at Hampstead during his convalescence. Next day 
it was : 

" Have you done anything about your flat ? '* 

Then the water came in at his flat, and he could not 
play his piano for fear of disturbing the neighbours. 
That was because Vernon Kendall had been to see him 
and had complained of the inconveniences of his own flat. 
So then he was to have a whole house and I was to have a 
house too. Alfred brought his accounts from which it 
appeared that his income was just over ^iioo a year and 
he could afford a leasehold house at a low rent. Next 
day it was : 

" Have you done anything about your house ? " 

So Alfred and I looked for houses, and then suddenly 
it was to be a freehold. This was because Mr. W. H. 
Gray, a solicitor whom he had met at the Phipson Beales' 
and had known for many years, had been to see him and 


1901 told him he Uved in a freehold house in Curzon Street, 
^^ ^ and found it a great comfort to have no landlord. 

** I don't know how he got hold of his bit of land,*' said 
Butler to me ; ** I suspect he found it in some abstract 
of title." 

So Alfred and I looked for freeholds, and at last 
actually found one at Hampstead for which £ 1 500 was 
asked, and Reginald Worsley went to inspect it and 
report. Then he said : 

** I am not behaving like a man who is going to die. 
I make my will, and tell my sisters all about it, and then 
here I am buying a freehold house at Hampstead ! " 

He was being attended only by Dr. Dudgeon, who 
was eighty-two and deaf, and Butler also was a little deaf. 
The question of a second opinion was started ; whereupon 
Butler said to Dudgeon : 

^^ I am perfectly satisfied with you ; but if you would 
like a second opinion, say so, and get any one you like." 

Dudgeon replied : *M am sure I know what is the 
matter with you, and I am perfectly satisfied with your 
progress ; but if you would like a second opinion, say so, 
and rU get one in a moment." 

It sounds like a deadlock ; but next day, 6th June, 
Dr. Byres Moir was called in and said that the patient was 
suffering from pernicious anaemia. I had a private talk 
with him and told him how ill Butler had been in 1895, 
when he went to Greece and the Troad, and that he 
had never been really well since, and about his recent 
symptoms. All of which confirmed his view. 

So things went on. He lay there cheerful and very 
good, in no pain, but growing feebler every day. He 
complained that he did not want to smoke and that they 
would not let him have any wine ; but then, he admitted, 
he did not want any wine nor did he want to smoke. 

" I don't suppose," he said, " that I shall ever drink 
another glass of wine or smoke another cigarette." 

To comfort him, I said he must not be impatient and 
in a little time he would be returning to all his old vices. 
This made him smile but he was not convinced. 

Sometimes he complained of rheumatism, but, except 


DEATH 399 



for that, he had no pain, though he had some discomfort x9o> 
arising, as it seemed to me, chiefly from weakness. ^^ ^^ 

Presently there came a change for the worse, and on 
the 1 8th June he had great difliculty in breathing. They 
took him out of bed and put him into an armchair. I 
was with him in the late afternoon and he seemed to be 
asleep. When I got up to leave he opened his eyes 
and said : 

** I'm going away soon. Fm to be left alone." 

I fetched his cousin Reginald Worsley and brought 
him in with Alfred. He knew us. I said : 

** I've brought Reggie to tell you about your house. 
He has been to Hampstead and seen it." 

" Well, and what do you think of it, Reggie ? " 

*' It's a very nice house, Sam ; it will do very well 
for you." 

" Drains all right ? 

" Yes, the drains jire in very good order.' 

" Very well ; then you'll send your report to Russell 

The next thing he said was that he knew he was 
dying. He spoke with difliculty and was breathing 

As I went away I told him I should come and see him 
in the morning, but he replied that he did not suppose he 
should be there in the morning. 

Miss Patten, the lady of the house, would not let me 
leave. I stayed downstairs and presently Alfred came for 
me. We went into the room. He knew us and said it 
was a dark morning. It was really a very fine evening ; 
I think he supposed it was the next day. Then he 
said : 

" Have you brought the cheque-book, Alfred ? " 

After that he lay in bis duur and in a little while 
became unconscious. In half an hour, at about 8.40, he 
breathed for the last time. 

We met at Waterloo on the 21st June: his cousins 
Richard and Reginald Worsley, Amy Worsley (daughter 
of Reginald), and Richard Burton Phillipson (who married 




1901 his niece Elsie Buder) — these were the members of the 

family ; Jason Smith, William Phipson Beale, Alfred 

Marks, Gaetano Meo, Miss Patten and Nurse Cawley, 

Charles Gogin, Richard Alexander Streatfeild, Russell 

^ CodJf e," -Edward Tanner (who used to collect the renff bf 

his small houses near London), Alfred, and I ; counting 

' the undertaker we were altogether seventeen. • - 

* We found carriages at Woking and drove to the 

crematorium. The coffin was put on trestles, there 

was no pall, there were no flowers, and there was no 

service. We waited. Presently the doors were opened 

and the coffin was taken through and put into the 


Formerly he used to wish to be buried at Langar, and 
as I have said at the end of chap, xxiii. he wished to have 
on his tombstone the subject of the last of Handel's six 
grand fugues. But he left off wanting any tombstone or 
epitaph long before he died, and when cremation became 
practicable he determined to be cremated. The question 
then arose as to what was to be done with his ashes. At 
one time he wished Alfred and me to scatter them over 
the grass plot in Clifford's Inn. But my mother was 
cremated at Woking in 1900, and I saw her ashes and 
told him that they did not consist entirely of dust, but 
that there were pieces of calcined bone among them. I 
pointed out that we could not scatter calcined bones over 
Clifford's Inn garden ; we should have to borrow a spade 
and bury them properly, and this might easily lead to 
trouble. Besides I did not like putting his ashes where 
the laundresses came to '^ lose their cats," and the place 
would no doubt be sold for building purposes sooner or 

later, and . He said I was making difficulties. Alfred 

then begged to have the ashes, saying he should like to 
keep them on his mantelpiece. Butler agreed to this and 
the subject dropped. 

After a time Alfred said one day : " Do you know, 
sir, I don't think I care to have your ashes after you are 

Which landed us back in the original difficulty. So 
he directed by his will that his body should be burnt and 

xui ASHES 401 

the ashes not preserved. Accordingly, on the Saturday 1902 
after the funeral Alfred and I returned to the crematorium 
at Woking and received the ashes. We took them into 
the garden and watched the attendant dig a grave among 
the bushes. We dropped the ashes in, covered them over, 
and left nothing to mark the spot. 





'9o> The following is a short statement of the main pro- 
visions of Butler*s will which is dated 31st May 1902 : 

He desires that his body shall be cremated and the ashes not 

He appoints his cousin Reginald Edward Worsley and Richard 
Alexander Streatfeild his executors 

He bequdiths the following legacies 

To Alfred Emery Cathie ;^2000 and until payment Alfred 
is to receive his usual weekly wages 

To Alfred E. Cathie his furniture (excluding his oak chest) 
his clothing and household effects watch and chain and 
plate (excluding two silver spoons with ^S B " on them 
and excluding his drawings pictures and books) also his 
photographic cameras and materials and the negatives of 
Alfred and his family and any two negatives of the 
, testator that Alfred may select 

To Alfred E. Cathie andf his aunt Ann Cathie his carpets 
rugs bedding sheets etc 

To Charles Gogin his picture " The Robing of Joseph 
by Pharaoh's Order** believed by the testator and by 
Charles Gogin to be an early work by Rembrandt 

To his sisters Mrs. Harriet Fanny Bridges and Miss Mary 
Butler £100 each 

To each of his executors ;^200 

To each of the daughters of his sistcr-in-Iaw Mrs. Henrietta 
Phillips Butler /lOO 

To John Taylor Bather /lOO 

To Herbert Robert Clark ^100 


v^/>4«/,_ iSxtY^^^^*^ 

»- ■» t -» -» »!• 



n*< : s 

ON l/IS (»!' 

s'* The following is a shr.r- 
visions of Butler's will h' 

He desires that his K; . 

Alt'* it' '' r ^!r • : . : 

He luvll.r' :;• r • • • 

1 o Al;n ! V • 

»« ?> TV '. ■. • 

h. ♦ i ' 

and exciudijit: i>>- 
photographic canRrj<« 
Alfred and his f.ui 
testator that AKnii :; 


'. l.Jwt. • ^' 


• I 

I • 


r . ' 

"fy etc 

';.» i,r. 

' 7 -..1 Ms picture 

* .♦''«•(,' ' 1 : . •.. d\) ' •' -v *i ' 
T ' n ..^r • . M; '. I Li, ii«-t Fai.:-' 

'I «» 'jch ot his cxecjt4> : /^oo 
'J i* ''.u h of the dauL'htci's of hii •- 

•I '• ■ • 

1 I f 1 11 


vV(4~^ ^S^fcTT^iLK. 




To Henry Fcsting Jones £soo and all interest in musical 190a 
compositions upon which they had been jointly engaged . 
and all copyrights etc in all works published in common ' 
by them ^ 

To William Russell Cooke £15-15 'O to purchase a 

To Jason Smith his picture of " Mr. Heatherley's Holiday •* 
as a slight recognition of his kindness to the testator in 
the time of his poverty 

To his nephew Henry Thomas Butler his two big silver 
spoons marked ^ S B " which had belonged to Dr. 
Butler and his carved oak linen chest which was given 
him by Mrs. Henry Butler of the Stone House iLenil- 

He appoints R. A. Streatfeild his literary executor and 
bequeaths to him all unpublished manuscripts notes etc 
and all his copyrights 

He bequeaths sdl his pictures sketches and studies to his 
executors to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as 
they may think best the proceeds (if any] to fall into 

To Charles Gogin for life and after his death to his wife 
Alma'Gogin during her widowhood an annuitv of /lOo 

To Mr^Ann Cathie an annuity of /i a week for Hfc 

He devises his freehold estate at Watford Gap Northamp- 
tonshire upon trust for Mrs. Henrietta Phillips Butler 
for life with remainder to her son Henry Thomas Butler 

He directs that all duties are to be paid out of his estate 

He devises and bequeaths his residuary estate to his nephew 
Henry Thomas Butler absolutely 

The entry in the register gives as the cause of Butler's 
death '' Intestinal catarrh, two months : pernicious 
anaemia, one month : certified by R. £. Dudgeon, M.D.'* 
This, I know, docs not agree with what Dr. Byres Moir 
told me. Doctors proverbially disagree, and we have not 
the information necessary to enable us to decide between 

After Butler*s death my sister Lilian and I agreed to 
start housekeeping together. I had already given up my 
rooms in Staple Inn, she gave up her flat at Hampstead^ 
and, following Butler's idea of living on one's own free- 
hold, we bought the house and garden 1 20 Maida Vale. 

404 120 MAIDA VALE xuii 

190s In that house I have written this book. And in the 
garden I have a campanula given me by a friend ; it is 
descended from one that grew in the garden of Charles 
Darwin at Down. I also have Apium graveolens grown 
from seed given me by the gardener of Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, who took it from the plants which came up from 
the seed Butler procured at Selinunte. I also have wild 
yellow auriculas — the sort which we used to find growing 
on the Alps. I have no doubt that those I have are 
descendants of some which Butler brought back from the 
Canton Ticino and gave to his father ; mine were sent to 
me from Wilderhope by Mrs. Bridges and Miss Butler. 
Butler would sometimes bring back a few auricula blossoms 
after staying at Shrewsbury, just as he would sometimes 
bring back a few cowslips wluch we picked on our Sunday 
walks, and keep them in water in his rooms. But he did 
not altogether approve ; it saddened him to watch them 
gradually decomposing, and he preferred, if he was to 
have flowers in his rooms, to see them in pots with their 
roots. His view was that plants have limbs and organs 
as we have, and that it is a shame to cut them about ; 
it is especially cruel to mutilate a plant at the moment 
when it is laying the foundations of the next generation. 
This is why there were no flowers at his funerai. It was 
only his very great love of auriculas, cowslips, and, I 
should add, fritillaries that excused him for being so 
inconsistent as to ill-treat them. '' Logic and consistency,** 
as he says somewhere, " are luxuries for the gods and the 
lower animals.'* 

I went to Shrewsbury from the 30th June to the 2nd 
July and stayed at Wilderhope with Mrs. Bridges and 
Miss Butler. The last time I had been there was some 
years before when I went with Butler for a week-end. 
On the Sunday morning after breakfast, Mrs. Bridges 
began : 

"You know, Sam, we don't wish you to think that 
we expect you to go to church. We know you and Mr. 
Jones always go into the country on Sunday for a walk, 
and we want you to try and think you can do just as you 
would wish. We shall go to church ; and, if you think 


-5- J 


you would like to come with us, you would find it a «9oa 
bright little service ; that I can prqmise you. And the 
music is good. Or, there is St. So-and-so*s where you 
would have a sermon from the vicar. But of course you 
can go into the country if you think you would prefer 
it, and we shall not be in the least offended. All we 
wish is that you should try and understand that we want 
you to think you are free to try and do exactly as you 
think you would like'* . • . 

This rambled on like a first movement by Beethoven ; 
the two skilfully contrasted themes of Church and Country- 
walk were worked out and developed, and led to a coda 
which threatened to assume considerable dimensions. In 
imitation of the master, Mrs. Bridges introduced " points 
of independent interest, variety of modulation and new 
treatment of the themes of the movement being alike 
resorted to, to keep up the interest until the last."* 
Presently she paused ; not that she had exhausted her 
themes or herself, but she paused ; and I interpolated : 

" Suppose we toss up ? " 

It had the effect of silencing Mrs. Bridges. 

" Come away ! " said Butler sternly. 

Thus we got off for our walk. But he was quite 
cross with me. He said I had disgraced myself and 
should never be invited to Wilderhope again. I refrained 
from saying that I might survive such a punishment. 
And it amused me afterwards to know that I was asked 
again ; that is, he was asked to bring me, but, like 
Ernest, he had formed a theory and did not tell me of 
the invitations ; I only found out about them indirectly. 
It happened, therefore, that the next time I went to 
Wilderhope was in response to a direct invitation, after 
his death. 

I had written to Miss Butler telling her about his 
illness, how much out of health he had been for years, 
and what the doctors had said ; and I added that, if Dr. 
Byres Moir was right, the pernicious anaemia might per- 
haps have been the cause of the attacks of giddiness of 
which he used to complain so long ago as 1895, when he 

^ Grove's DUttomtry efMutic and Mtmcidnt (Ed. 1904), Art. " Coda.** 


190s was working too hard at the Odyssey. She replied thanking 
me for my letter, and saying that she had not told Mrs. 
Bridges about the giddiness, fearing it might make her 
nervous about herself, because Mrs. Bridges sometimes 
had attacks of giddiness. And she begged me not to 
allude to my letter, as she had not mentioned it to her 
sister, whose health was not good, and more to a similar 

Almost the first thing Mrs. Bridges did when I arrived 
was to take me aside and tell me confidentially that Miss 
Butler was very delicate, far from well, and very full of 
nerves in some ways ; I must be careful in speaking to 
her about Sam's illness lest I should make her uneasy and 
nervous about herself. She added that her sister did not 
sleep easily, and that many things were not good for her 
which she (Mrs. Bridges) could bear and liked to hear. 
This was so like what Miss Butler had written to me 
about Mrs. Bridges that I re-read her letter, and was 
startled to find that even the actual words were identical. 

Presently Miss Butler took me aside and talked about 
her brother, asking questions about his illness and death. 
And now perhaps he saw things more clearly than he had 
seen them during his life — perhaps he now understood 
his father better. She then asked me point-blank and 
rather suddenly whether he had not, after all, come to 
believe in immortality. I had no doubt that she was 
thinking of the immortality of the fiddle rather than of 
the immortality of the tune, and could only say that her 
brother's opinion on that point had remained unaltered 
up to the last moment of his life. She accepted my reply 
as though it were what she had expected, and continued to 
talk. She admitted that life was an enigma, full of con- 
tradictions and difficulties. " But if," and here her eyes 
filled with tears as she raised them towards the ceiling, 
and her voice trembled as she continued, " if we believe 
that Jesus died and rose again, everything becomes quite 

I did not think it did ; but I felt sorry for the poor 
woman, and cast about in my mind in search of some 
drop of comfort to ofiTer her. All I could find to say 


mil IRONY 407 

was that when I left Sam a few hours before his death, 190a 
promising to come and see him in the morning, he had 
replied that he did not suppose he would be there in the 
morning. This, I suggested, might be taken to mean 
that he contemplated being somewhere else. She was 
not much impressed by my feeble bit of sophistry, and 
showed an inclination to continue talking about her 
own faith as though she had lost all interest in her 
brother*s views. 

Presently we spoke of his last book, Erewhon Revisited^ 
which she said she had not read. I understood her to 
say that, like her &ther, she had read none of her brother's 
books ; and, again, like her father, she saw nothing to be 
ashamed of in this. I said that I thought it a pity she 
should not have read, for instance, the passage in chapter v. 
of Erewhon Revisited when Mr. Higgs meets George and 
knows that he is his son, but George does not know that 
Mr. Higgs is his father ; or that other beautiful passage 
in chapter xxv. when they part. 

" No," she said, ** no : I hate irony," and she em- 
phasised *^ hate " with so much vicious determination that 
I saw it would be useless to tell her that these passages 
are free from any trace of irony. 

When we rejoined Mrs. Bridges the conversation 
turned on the subject of portraits of Sam, and especially 
the reproduction he had given them of Gogin's portrait 
of him which faces the opening of chapter xxxv. of this 
Memoir. They said they were much pleased with the 
reproduction. It was a capital likeness. I asked if they 
would care to see Gogin's original picture. 

*' Oh no, we should not like to see it at all ; indeed 

"But you think your reproduction of it very like 

"Yes; but we did not think so till we touched \U 
It is now very like him ; but we considered it very bad 
before we touched it. We do not know what was wrong 
with it, but there seemed to be something about the head 
and the hair. It was not like him. But now that we 
have touched it, it is quite good, and we are both so very 



1902 pleased to have it. But we could not bear to see the 

Of course I told Gogin, and he wrote : 

I do so like what you told me about Mrs. Bridges and the 
photograph. It is curious what a trifle may turn a horror into 
a perfect portrait. Did she touch up the copy herself or was it 
done by a local photographic genius ? Well, you and I perhaps 
flatter ourselves we fed things, but, with all our experience, I am 
afraid we have not reached that insight and subtlety of appreciation 
which lift their possessor quite above the plane of human artists. 

Thinking that Mrs. Bridges and Miss Butler might 
wish to see their brother's rooms in Clifford's Inn before 
they were dismantled, which had to be done by the 29th 
September, I said that, if they were coming to London, or 
if either was coming, I should be happy to meet them and 
show them over. And they might like to be introduced 
to the lady who kept the Nursing Home in St. John's 
Wood, and to see the room in which he died. This was 
nearly as bad as the suggestion that they should see 
Gogin's picture. They could not think of such a thing. 

Accordingly, after I returned to town, I received a 
letter from Mrs. Bridges saying that she was coming to 
London and would I meet her at Clifford's Inn on the 
22nd July. Of course I complied. She did not stay 
long, and I could not induce her to come on and see my 
rooms in Staple Inn. Her visit was followed on the 30th 
by a similar visit from Miss Butler. I met her at Clifibrd's 
Inn and showed her everything. Afterwards she came 
on to see my rooms. Here she sat in the chair her 
brother used to sit in, and played with the brass bowl 
which he used to play with and which my brother Edward 
brought from India. She also called at the Nursing 
Home in St. John's Wood, and saw over the house and 
went into the room in which Butler died. 

I had told Mrs. Bridges and Miss Butler that their 
brother had, and that it was still hanging in his rooms, a 
black and white water-colour portrait of himself made by 
Thomas Sadler from a faded photograph taken when he 
was about twenty-three, of which tney had a print, A 
reproduction faces chapter iv. ante. I promised to show 


them Sadler's drawing if and when they came to their 190* 
brother's rooms. As soon as they saw it they exclaimed : 

" Oh ! then it is an enlargement ? " 

I said, ** Well, it's larger than the photograph, but it 
is not enlarged by photography. This is a copy enlarged 
and painted by hand." 

They said, " Oh 1 but what a pity ! Now, why wasn't 
it enlarged by photography and then touched ? That 
would have been so much better. It is not at all like 
Sam. Why, it's more like his cousin, George Lloyd." 

Nevertheless, they thought they had better have it as 
a &mily portrait, and it was sent to Wilderhope. 

When I say " they " said so-and-so I mean that first 
Mrs. Bridges said it, and when Miss Butler came she 
repeated what her sister had said. Their unanimity in 
this matter of Sadler's portrait was like their unanimity 
when they spoke about their healths ; but I could not 
determine in either case whether it was the result of a 
pre-arranged scheme or an efiTect of their having lived so 
much together. I incline to think that it was due to the 
latter cause, and that Butler had noticed something of the 
kind so long ago as when he was writing The Way of All 
Flesh. In those early days, no doubt, it was less pro- 
nounced, especially while Mrs. Bridges was living at 
Ventnor ; but I suppose it deepened and grew after she 
joined her father and sister at Shrewsbury, and it became 
very obvious after the death of Canon Butler. I imagine 
that during the progress of the novel a prophetic instinct 
suggested to Butler the propriety of imitating the conjurer 
who rolls two rabbits into one, and that he therefore 
rolled his two sisters together into one indivisible Charlotte 

In November Ingroja wrote me that the Communal 
Council of Calatafimi had resolved by acclamation that 
the street leading from the Nuovo Mercato towards 
Segesta should be called ^*Via Samuel Butler, thus 
honouring a great man's memory, handing down his 
name to posterity, and doing homage to the friendly 
English nation." The name of the hotel at Calatafimi 


1902-3 was also changed from Albergo Centrale to Albergo 
Samuel Butler. The street is still (191 1) called Via 
Samuel Butler ; but when I was at Gdatafimi in 1 908 
the hotel had been closed in consequence of the death 
of Don Paolo, and poor old Donna Maria was selling 
newspapers. She died a year later. 


In the spring of this year I went to Italy and Sicily, 
taking with me some of Butler*s sketches and the MSS. 
of three of his books, viz. Ex Voio^ The Odyssey rendered 
into English Prose^ and The Authoress of the Odyssey. I 
went to Casale-Monferrato, and gave to the Avvocato 
Negri an oil sketch made by Butler in 1871 from the 
steps of the church on the Sacro Monte at Varallo-Sesia, 
showing the mountains as one looks towards Monte Rosa. 
I chose this sketch for him because he knows well both 
the mountains and the Sacro Monte. 1 gave Cesare 
Coppo an oil sketch of Hendon made by Butler, and I 
chose this for him because it is an English view, and he 
sometimes says that the happiest time in his life was when 
he was in England. 

I went next to Varallo-Sesia and gave to the Municipio 
the MS. of Ex Voto and an oil sketch made by Butler in 
1 871 of the church on the Sacro Monte, historically 
interesting; because it shows the building as it was before 
the new racciata was built. After the presentation I was 
entertained at dinner by the Municipio. 

I then went to Milan where I saw the painter Cavaliere 
Angelo Morbelli and his family, and gave them the 
negatives of several photographs Butler had taken of the 
chUdren playing in the garden of their country house. 

Then I went to Messina where I saw Peppino Pagoto 
and gave him a card-case of Butler*s and a sketch he made 
on Monte Erice. 

At Catania I saw Giovanni Platania and gave him a 
negative of himself in the railway station at Catania, taken 
by Butler, and also the MS. of The Odyssey rendered into 
English Prose for the Accademia de' Zelanti of Aci-Realc 
of which he was at the time acting as secretary. 


At Trapani I gave to the Municipio the MS. of The »903-4 
Authoress ofthe Odyssey^ and'I was entertained af luncheon 
by the Sindaco and the Municipio. 

On the way I stayed at Calatafimi and saw Ingroja, 
and at all the places where I stopped I saw and talked 
with Butler's friends and told them of his last illness 
and death. • 

In August, Remi Faesch, who was in London in a 
bank, came one morning to see me with a telegram he had 
received from Peter HaufF, in the Shan States, announcing 
the death of his brother Hans on 5th August, aged 32. 
The people of Basel publish a Busier Jahrbuch which 
comes out from time to time and contains records of the 
lives of those of their citizens who distinguish themselves 
in any way. In the volume for 1906 the third article 
contains an account of Hans Faesch, giving particulars of 
his life and many extracts from his letters home. It is 
entitled ^'Erlebnisse eines Basler Kaufmanns in Laos 
(Indo- China). Autobiographische Skizzen von Hans 
Rudolf Fasch.'* Madame Faesch gave me a separate copy 
of this article, which I gave to the British Museum where 
it is indexed under Hans's name. 

It had been an understood thing that Gogin, who 
painted BuUer*8 portrait in 1896,^ should paint mine. He 
was also to paint his own. Butler would have liked to 
possess a gallery of portraits of himself and his friends 
all painted by Gogin, but during -his iifettme only his 
own portrait was made. In the course of 1 963 Gogin 
painted mine, I going to Brighton where he was then 
living and sitting to him. Emery Walker has reproduced 
the picture and it appears at the opening of this chapter, - V , . 
I am aware that it is considered in donbtfnttffsfe Tor an ^ -' 
author to include a portrait of himself in his book ; I >' / 
trust that these volumes do not contain any more serious 
breach of taste than this. 


Thinking that Butler's friends in England ought to 
hear what I had done and how I had been received in 
North Italy and Sicily in 1903, especially as those to 


412 DR. DUDGEON xuu 

1904 whom I gave the MSS. were anxious that their gratitude 
for the gifts should be known, I wrote an account of 
my journey : Diary of a Journey through North Italy to 
Sicify undertaken in the Spring of rgoj for the purpose of 
leaving the MSS. of three books by Samuel Butler at Varalh- 
Sesiay Aci-Reale^ and Trapani. The frontispiece of this 
pamphlet is a reproduction of Gogin's portrait of 

Among Butler's friends to whom I sent a copy of my 
Diary of a Journey was Dr. Dudgeon. In reply I 
received a letter from his daughter saying that he had 
been in bed for three weeks, that the doctors thought it 
impossible he could recover, and that he would be glad to 
see me. I went, and we talked about Butler. He said 
that no one had influenced him so much. I assured him 
that he also had had a great influence on Butler. His 
house on Carlton Hill was dose to mine in Maida Vale, 
and I went almost every day and had many conversations 
with him until near his end when he became too feeble to 
see any one. I always found him perfectly happy and 
cheerful and not in any pain, except when they dressed his 
blisters. He liked my coming because he knew no one 
else to whom he could talk about Butler. I reminded 
him of how Butler used to prescribe homoeopathic 
medicines for himself, how he used to take aconite out of 
a little botde when he had a cold, and how he used to 
insist on my taking some too, whether I had a cold or 
not — " It can't do you any harm," he used to say — and 
how he made me go and consult Dudgeon every now and 
then when he thought I appeared to be out of sorts. 

** Well," said Dudgeon, " I hope he was right and that 
the medicines did not do you any harm." 

" Oh no," I replied ; " that was one reason why he 
became a homoeopath. He used to say that if you did 
him no good at all events you did not chuck him about 
with your medicines as the allopaths did with theirs." 

At one of our last interviews he said : " The best 
thing I can do now is to go to Sam ; I am no use lying 
here like this, and I can never get well." 

I said : ^* We must all go some day, you know, but 


there is no occasion to be in a hurry about it. Sam 1904-5 
won't mind waiting for us." 

He smiled and said : *^ Ah well, I think his views 
about meeting again were very much the same as mine. 
For my part I have never been able to form any clear idea 
of what people mean when they talk of immortality." 

I told him that in any other sense except that which 
is intended in the sonnet ^^ Not on sad Stygian shore '* 
Sam used to say that immortality was for him unthink- 
able ; and Dudgeon was much comforted. 

He died on the 8th September, aged 84. I went to 
his funeral at Golder's Green where he was cremated on 
the 1 2th. 


On 3rd April Ulysses was sung through at 32 
CJanricarde Gardens, the residence of Mr. H. J. T. 
Wood. The solos were taken by Miss Betty Booker 
(soprano), Mis^ Grainger Kerr (contralto), Mr. R. A. 
Streatfeild (tenor), and Mr. Francis Harford (bass), Mr. 
Hurlstone accompanied on the piano, and Mr. Wood 
conducted. This performance was practicable because the 
pianoforte score of the oratorio had been published in 
the preceding October by Weekes & Co. It contains 

Note. — ^At the time of his death, 18 June, 1902, Samuel Butler 
had completed his part of Ulysses. Since then I have finished my 
share and am now able to fulfil one of his last wishes by publishing 
the work. I am sure he would have approved of my taking this 
opportunity to acknowled^ the great assistance given to us both 
by our friend Mr. S. P. Waddington. September 1904, H. F. J. 

For some months after my sister and .1 had moved to 
Maida Vale Alfred came there daily, just as he used to 
go to Clifford's Inn ; but presently he made up his mind 
to start in business and, in the spring of 1905, bought a 
small general shop in Canal Road, Mile End. This did 
not use up more than about ^^ 100 of his legacy ; the rest 
was invested, and he, with his wife and his three children, 
continued to live on the profits of the shop and the 
dividends of the investments. 



1905-6 In September 1905 Ingroja died at his villa near 
Gdatafimi. He was a man who would have made a 
considerable mark if his intelligence and his energies had 
not been confined to such a small place as Calatafimi. 


I had long wanted to see Langar and in the autumn 
wrote to the rector, the Rev. D. F. Wright, to propose 
a visit. He replied that I should be welcome. I went 
on 6th November 1 906. Mr. Wright met me at Barn- 
stone station and drove me to Langar. He told me that 
he was of the family of Wright of Derby. He showed 
me the church and in the church-yard the tombstone to 
Butler's brother, William Butler, who died 4th January 
1839, aged six months, his father and mother ** sorrowing 
but not with bitterness." I thought of how, if Butler 
was present when people were talking of the earliest events 
they could remember, his contribution usually was that 
he remembered seeing the dead body of his brother 
William lying naked on a bed, Butler being at the time 
three years and two months old. And I thought of how 
he would then assume a wistful expression, cast up his 
eyes and exclaim : 

" My poor little brother William ! The only one of 
my relations with whom I never quarrelled." 

The pews used to be high, all of carved oak ; Canon 
Butler pulled them down when he restored the church 
(ante, I. 116), and Mr. Wright regretted that the oak 
was not used for panelling the church. I looked for 
a brass or stone to Canon Butler, but there was none. 
I half remember having heard that there is a stained-glass 
window in some church in Shrewsbury, put up in his 
memory by " two ladies of this town,** or something of 
that kind, but I have never seen it. 

Mr. Wright had to consult with his churchwardens 
about altering the paths and grass, and I went in to tea 
with Mrs. Wright in the drawing-room, the scene of 
Butler's picture '* Family Prayers.' The arch and the 
window beyond it, shown in the picture, were additions 

xuii BARNARD^S INN 415 

made to the rectory house by Canon Butler ; in the real 1906 
room there are behind the row of servants two windows 
in the wall on which Butler has made the clock and the 
landscapes throw their contradictory shadows. I went 
round the garden with Mrs. Wright and found the view 
of which Butler made a sketch. I gave the sketch to his 
nephew Harry Butler who, as a boy, used to go to Langar 
and remembered it. It shows the grass paths and the 
door in the wall which Ernest sees when he returns to 
Battersby to his mother's death-bed {The Way of All 
Fleshy ch. Ixxxiii.) : 

Ernest found himself looking hard against- the blue door at 
the bottom of the garden to see if there was rain falling, as he 
had been used to look when he was a child doing lessons with 
his father. 

This passage is, of course, a personal reminiscence. 
And so it is earlier in the same chapter when Ernest is 
being driven from the station, and Battersby church 
tower draws near and he sees the rectory on the top of 
the hill and throws himself back in the carriage and 
covers his face with his hands. 

When I went to live in Staple Inn, that part of 
Barnard's Inn in which my previous chambers were 
situated was demolished, but other parts, including the 
Hall, were left standing. Mr. Dolmetsch used to give 
concerts in the Hall, and Butler and I went to some of 
them. One evening we arrived too early and spent the 
time in visiting my old rooms. The d^ors were off, the 
walls were bare, and the boards were up. We picked 
our perilous way across the rafters, through the sitting- 
room into the bed-room and the kitchen. And Butler's 
eyes filled with tears. It was, I admit, a melancholy 
occasion, but it surprised me that he should be so deeply 
affected. It was the first time I had observed how 
peculiarly susceptible he was to those emotions which we 
all experience in some degree on returning to a place after 
an interval during which changes have occurred in the 
place or in ourselves. There are many indications of 
this in his writings, and when I was helping to correct the 



1906 proofs of The Way of All Flesh the passages referred to 
above reminded me of our visit to the ruins of Barnard's 

Presently Mr. Wright came back from his meeting. 
He showed me over the house and took me into the 
room in which Butler was born. I knew which it was 
because Butler made this note : 

I was born in what was afterwards the best spare room, Le. 
the westernmost first-floor room on the left as you look towards 
the house. The room which my brother and 1 had, and which 
was always called ^the boys* room,*' was the one next to this 
with nothing but a thin partition between the two, and two 
windows looking north. 

We went downst^rs and sat in the study, and he 
pointed out two curious depressions on the mantelpiece. 
He said that Mr. Gregory, a former rector, used to stand 
in front of the fire, leaning against the mantelpiece, and 
that he made these marks by constantly rubbing his fore- 
head against the painted wood or plaster. In the garden 
Mrs. Wright had shown me the place where Mr. Gregory's 
observatory used to stand, and told me that Canon Butler 
pulled it down and used the material in restoring the 

Mr. Gregory at Langar 

He was my Other's predecessor but one, and held the living 
from about 1 780-1 820. He used to ride on horseback to London, 
and the fields near Mr. Harrison's farm are still called the London 
Fields because he so styled them. He was an astronomer ; I can 
just remember his observatory being pulled down to give place to 
my Other's coach-house. He built two little steps against the 
wall nearly opposite our study window, from which to watch the 
sunset over the garden wall. Mr. Isaac Hall told me that he 
saw him standing on these steps watching the sunset a day or 
two before he died. As it was going down he said : 

Good-bye, Sun ; Good-bye, Sun — 

And then went in — never to come out again. 

Butler used this note in telling of the death of old 
John Pontifex in The Way of All Flesh. 



While in the house I thought of the bees going up 1906-8 
and down the paper in the drawing-room at Battersby : 


The paper at Langar was at one time of a pattern full of 
roses red and white, or camelias, I forget which. I have seen the 
bees come in on a summer's afternoon and try flower after flower 
of them, going from sofa to ceiling and then down the next row. 
They found it impossible in the presence of so many of the 
associated ideas to believe in the absence of the one they set most 
store by — honey. 

I looked for this paper ; of course it was not there, 
but Mr. Wright told me that when he came, in 1903, 
the drawing-room had been repapered and he remembered 
seeing roses on some of the old papers that were stripped 
from the walls. His recollection of the pattern was that 
it was not rows of roses up and down but rather a border 
of roses along the skirting, up the corners, and along 
under the ceiling. Butler did not paper the room with it 
in his picture, his reason being, I imagine, that he felt 
unequal to it. Mr. Wright also remembered that when 
he came the roof was still full of bees, and they had got 
rid of them. 


Professor Marcus Hartog, in a conversation with 

me, suggested that there should be an Erewhon dinner. ') 
Having consulted Streatfeild, Desmond MacCarthy, Emery 

Walker and others, I prepared a list of all who, we | 

thought, were interested in Butler. We fixed the i6th ) 

July for the dinner so as to suit Marcus Hartog, arranged j 

preliminaries with the manager of Pagani's, and sent out \ 

reply-postcards : | 

The Erewhon Dinner / 

A few admirers of Erewhon and its author intend to dine \ 
together at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday i6th July at Pagani's 1 

Restaurant, Great Pordand Street. It you can come you will be ( 

welcome. Kindly sign and return the annexed card so that 
arrangements may be made accordingly* The price of the dinner 

VOL. II 2 e 


190S will not exceed 5/- exclusive of drinks and there will be two menus 
(tf) ordinary (t) vegetarian. Evening dress optional. 

Mr. Emery Walker generously prepared for the menu 
a reproduction of the portrait which Butler painted of 
himself in 1878 — ^the one he gave to roe. It is repro- 
duced as the frontispiece to vol. I. of this Memoir. 
Under the portrait on the menu were printed these 
words : 

Above all thines, let no unwary reader do me the injustice of 
believing in mi. In that I write at all I am among the damned. 
If he must believe in anything, let him believe in the music of 
Handel, the painting of Giovanni Bellini, and in the thirteenth 
chapter of St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. (Li/i and 
Hahity close of chap, ii.) 

There were about thirty-two persons present. I was 
in the chair, with Professor Hartog on my right and Julius 
Bertram, who knew Miss Savage, on my left. I put 
Julius Bertram next to me partly because he was a Member 
of Parliament, and I wahted him to instruct me in the 
duties of a chairman, of which I knew nothing. After 
dinner I rose and said : 

*' Gentlemen, The King.** 

The companv rose and we drank the health of His 
Majesty. In a few moments I rose again and delivered 
a speech which I had prepared. I do not suppose I said 
all I had intended to say, but this r^um£ will give an idea 
of the spirit which we intended should prevail at these 

Gentlemen: When my friend Professor Marcus Hartog 
suggested that we should have this dinner — for the proposal came 
from him — ^he said : 

^ I do not know what Butler himself would have thought 

And I replied : ^* I think I can tell you. He would have 
been very much pleased. And especially pleased because he could 
not himself be present in a material sense.'* 

We know Butler's views about immortality — that it is the 
living in the thoughts and deeds of other men ; and in that sense 
he is present amone us now. But we must be careful that no 
future meeting shall degenerate into anything like a religious 

- ■ ! 


celebration. We must so conduct ourselves that if he were to i9o8>9(^ ' .- 

return in a material sense to this Erewhon of ours he would never 

find us doing what Mr. Higgs found them doing when he 
returned to the real Erewhon. That is why those words from 
Life and Habit are printed on the menu under his portrait which 
his friend Mr. Emery Walker has kindly reproduced for us. 

I have written to about twenty Italians and Sicilians telling 
them of this dinner. They have all replied promising to be { 
present in spirit and Dionigi Negri, of Varallo-Sesia, has sent us a '> 
pot of honey made by Sertoli's bees from the flowers of Monte 
Rosa. We may be sure that all his friends out there are now 
thinking of us and that they are all drinking a glass of wine to The t 
Memory of Samuel Butler. Let us do the same. ' 

Whereupon the guests stood up and in silence we 
drank to his memory. 

Speeches were made by Professor Hartos, Professor 

G. S. Sale who, having retired from the University of 

Dunedin, was living in London, and by Butler's fellow art- I 

student, Mr. H. R. Robertson. Some one came and told 

me that the company would like to h^ar particulars about 

Alfred ; so I told them all about him, and assured them 

that he would be much pleased to hear that they had 

asked after him. After this Streatfeild said a few words 

and we separated. 
» - » -■ 


On July 1 5th we had the second Erewhon dinner at 
Pagani's, that date being fixed to suit the convenience of 
Mr. George Bernard Shaw. There were about fifty-three 
persons present, including Alfred ; and Dionigi Negri 
sent some more of Bertoli's honey. The Rev. Canon 
M'Cormick said grace. 

I proposed The King, followed by The Memory of 
Samuel Butler. Among those who spoke were Canon 
M*Cormick, who told some anecdotes of Butler at 
Cambridge, including the mishap to the Johnian boat when 
Butler was steering it in 1857 (ante, I. 52) ; Mr. John H. 
Baker, who was in New Z^dand with Butler, and who 
told us how he had accompanied him on the journey which 
is described as the entry into Erewhon, and about his 
pathetic meeting with Butler in 1902, forty years later, in 



1909-10 Rome (ante, p. 391); Mr. H. R. Robertson, Professor 
Marcus Hartog, and Bernard Shaw. 


In February I read a paper on Butler before the 
British Association of Homoeopathy at 43 Russell Square, 
W.C, The paper was practically the obituary article 
which I had written for The Eagk, December 1902, 
revised, and with references to homoeopathy inserted. 
Some of Butler's music was performed by Miss Grainger 
Kerr, Mr. R. A. Streatfeild, Mr. J. A. Fuller Mdt- 
land, and Mr. H. J. T. Wood (the Secretary of the 

On 14th July the durd Erewhon dinner took place 
at Pagam's. The date was fixed to suit the convenience 
of Mr. Augustine Birrell. There were about fifty- eight 
persons present, and Dionigi Negri sent some more of 
Bertoli's honey. After the toasts of The King and The 
Memory of Samuel Butler, speeches were made by Marcus 
Hartog ; by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Johnston Forbes 
Robertson, to whom, when he was a boy, Butler gave a 
copy of Erewhon^ not for him to read but for him to take 
home to his father and mother ; by Richard Whiteing, 
who said we were not digging out a forgotten reputation, 
we were building up and creating a new reputation ; and 
by Bernard Shaw, who reminded us that Butler l^d great 
stress upon the importance of money, poverty was a 
crime ; that he also laid great stress on the importance of 
luck, to be unlucky was a crime. The real reason (he 
said) why Butler was unknown during his lifetime was 
that he was always showing wherein accepted people were 
wrong, so that they were aftaid of openly approving of 
him lest he should turn and rend them. Buder, he sdd, 
would not play at being a lion, and these dinners were 
only possible because he could not be present in person 
and tell us wherein we were wrong to hold them. Mr. 
H. R. Robertson and Dr. Nairn also spoke. I then 
called on Birrell, who told us about his meeting with 
Butler at Miss Edith Sichel's. 



On 1 6 th November I read a paper on Butler before 1910 
the Historical Society of St John's G>llege, Cambridge. 
The paper was founded upon my previous address, 
with the omission of the homoeopathy and the insertion 
of recollections of school and college days. The His- 
torical Society met in the combination room of the college, 
and the Master (Mr. R. F. Scott), who was also Vice- 
Chancellor of the University, was in the chair. A vote of 
thanks was proposed by Professor William Bateson, F.R.S. 

In the autumn Mr. Jason Smith died, and his daughter 
consulted me about Butler's picture, ** Mr. Heatherley's 
Holiday," which, since 1902, had been hanging in her 
father's dining-room in L^caster Gate. I spoke to Sir 
Charles Holroyd, Director of the National Gallery, about 
it. Eventually Mr. Jason Smith's representatives gave 
the picture to the nation, and it was hung in the National 
Gallery of British Art. 

In December I received from Miss Butler A Kalendar 
for Lads (A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 28 Margaret Street, 
Oxford Circus, London, W. and 9 High Street, Oxford). 
It is dedicated to Patrick Henry Cecil Butler, the son of 
Butler's nephew, Harry Butler. There is a note thank- 
ing various publishers for leave to use extracts from works 
issued by them, and this note is dated Shrewsbury, 19 10, 
and signed with Miss Butler's initials, but the full name 
of the compiler is nowhere given. On the back of this 
note occurs the following : 






* None save Christ. 

A text from the Bible is allotted to each day, and is 
followed by a quotation in verse or in prose, sometimes 
more than one. They are perhaps not all of them^ 
strictly speaking, quotations, for some are signed 
M. B. and others are unsigned ; but they are chosen and 
placed so as to emphasise the teaching of the text, thus : 



1910 4^ They will go from strength to strength. — Ps, Ixxxiv* 7. 

Good — Better — Best, 
Never let it rest, 
Till your Good is Better, 
And your Better, Best. 


21. Even Christ pleased not Himself. — Rom. xv. 3. 

Choose, lads, which shall it be — self-will, self-conceit, self- 
indulgence; or the poet's "self-reverence, self-knowledge, self- 
control.'* ' M. B. 


20. The soul of the people was much discouraged because rf 
the way. — Num. xxi. 4. 

A wise traveller goeth on cheerily through fair weather and 
through foul. 

He knoweth that his journey must be sped, so he carries his 
sunshine with him. M. Tupper. 

Be the day weary or be the day long 
At last it ringeth to Evensong. 

In thanking Miss Butler for her present I was careful 
not to say that I had met with " Be the day weary " etc. 
in Ernest's bed-room at Battersby (chap. Ixxxiii.), or to 
let her suspect that I remembered his comment : 

** There's not enough difference between * weary * and Mong' 
to warrant an ^ or ' " he said, ^^ but I suppose it's all right." 

I was probably intended to recognise her in the 
initials M. B. My recollection is that I taxed her with 
havins composed also some of the unsigned selections, 
and that she treated this part of my letter with ostenta- 
tious silence. I remember especially thinking that she 
composed the verse "Good — Better — Best," but I 
repeated it recently to a friend, who assured me that he 
was familiar with it as an old rhyme ; so I daresay she 
also selected the others. 


This incident, settling that a supposed author was 1910 
merely a selector, reminded me of a similar incident 
which also occurred recently about a passage in one of 
Miss Savage's letters. In the postscript of her letter to 
Butler of the 13th August 1881 (ante, L 359) she enclosed 
some scraps of conversation at her club. This is the 
final one : 

Mrs. A. hears from her friend of the good fortune of some 
bad people (dissenters probably) and excl^ms : ^* Dear, dear ; 
to think now of their having such good luck I " Her friend 
says: ^^WeU, well, it rains alike on the just as well as the 
unjust." I, smarting with a sense of wrong, say from the other 
end of the room : ^ It rains more on the just, for the unjust take 
the umbrellas." I hope you will laugh at my little joke. They 
did not. 

In his reply Butler wrote : *^ I liked your plum about 
the umbrellas. I must try and get it in somewhere." 
He was writing ji^s and Sanctuaries at the time, and 
meant that he must put her remark into the book ; he 
used to say that one can get anything in anywhere if one 
sets to work ; but I have not found this particular plum 
in the book. 

I read Miss Savage's postscript to another friend, who 
mused and muttered : 

" Let me see. One moment. ' The rain it raineth * — 
yes — that's it : 

•The rain it raineth every day 

Upon the just and unjust fellen. 
But more upon the just because 

The unjust take the just's umbrellers.' '' 

And this rhyme it seems is also well known as an 
old saying. Evidently Butler assumed that Miss Savage 
originated the jest, which she was quite capable of doing ; 
but I suppose he was wrong and that he omitted it from 
his book because she explained to him verbally that she 
was not cluming it as her own ; she thought he would 
know she was alluding to a common saying. I omitted 
the plum from her postscript because it appeared to me 
then that the necessary explanation would be cumbrous ; 


1910-11 but I want it now, because it points the contrast between 
the literary taste of Miss Savage and that of Miss Butler. 


In March 1880 Butler finished and dated a portrait 
of lumself and soon afterwards gave it to Gogin, who in 
191 1 gave it to Shrewsbury School ; it was hung in the 
headmaster's dining-4*oom. 

I gave this year to St. John's G>llegey Cambridge, the 
portrait of himself which Butler painted in 1878 — repro- 
duced as the frontispiece to vol. I. of this Memoir. 

On the 14th July we had the fourth Erewhon dinner 
at Pagani's. The date this year was fixed to suit the 
convenience of Mr. William Phipson Beale, afterwards Sir 
William Phipson Beale, Bart. There were about seventy- 
five persons present. After the two toasts, speeches were 
made by myself, by Mr. H. W. Nevinson, Desmond 
MacCarthy, Phipson Beale, J. H. Baker, W. H. Gray, 
and Dr. Reginald Hughes. William Bateson also spoke, 
and referred to the changes which had taken place in public 
opinion since the publication of Erewhon ; for instance, 
legislation had lately been proposed for the isolation of 
those suffering from consumption, which reminded him 
of the imprisonment of sick persons in the satire. He 
was also pleased to think that Butler's portrait was now 
hanging in the Hall of St. John's College, on equal terms 
with ecclesiastics in wigs and lawn sleeves — another 
significant change. 

There is a passage in Erewhon (pp. 100-102 in the 
early editions, and pp. 120-122 in the 1901 edition), in 
the chapter headed *' Malcontents " (which is chapter xii. 
in both editions), it b^ns : " 1 write with great diffidence, 
but it seems to me that there is no unfairness in punishing 
people for their misfortunes, or rewarding them for their 
sheer good luck," and ends, ** because lunacy is less 
infectious than crime." One cannot always remember 
things at the right moment or, apropos of Bateson*s 
speech, I might have told the guests of this passage ; and 
I could have told them further that in the second-hand 


copy of Erewhon which I bought in 1906 (referred to 191 1 
ante, L 363), this passage has a pencil line and crosses all 
down the margin, and where it begins are these words in 
Butler's handwriting : ** Meant seriously." Perhaps my 
omissioQ was not of much cohsequence, for I do not 
think that at the Erewhon dinners we have ever had 
many of those who protest that they never know when 
Butler is jesting and when he is serious. 

Dionigi Negri sent no honey for this dinner, and I 
wondered why. In the autumn I went to Varallo, where 
they told me that earlier in the year he had had a fall, 
from which he never recovered, and in October he died, 
aged 67, about the same age as Butler was at the time of 
his death. 

Mr. (now Sir) Francis Darwin, when President of the 
British Association, in September 1908, in his Inaugural 
Address at Dublin, had spoken with approval of Hering's 
theory connecting the phenomena of heredity with 
memory, and quoted from Butler's translation of Hering's 
Lecture on Memory, which is contained in Unconscious 
Memory. There had been a fire at Ballantyne's, as I have 
said before, and this book had become scarce. Streatfeild 
and I considered that it ought now to be made accessible, 
in case any one might wish to read Butler's translation of 
Hering's lecture, either in consequence of Mr. F. Darwin's 
reference to it or otherwise. We therefore published 
through Fifield a new edition which appeared during 
the spring of 19 10. Almost immediately after the book 
was out I received from Mr. Sydney C. Cockerell, 
Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, a letter 
addressed to him by Francis Darwin asking him to find 
out whether any one was writing Butler's Life, and saying 
that he had letters from Hiudey and Leslie Stephen 
containing information which ought to be seen by Butler*s 
biographer. I replied direct to Francis Darwin, saying 
that I was writing the Life, but that I hardly saw how 
letters from Huxley and Leslie Stephen could find a place 
in it ; nevertheless if he thought I ought to see them I 
should be pleased to consider them. Thus began the 



191 1 correspondence which is referred to at the opening of 
chapter xviii. ante. I concluded my first letter thus : 
** Of course I reserve absolute liberty of action, and must 
be free to treat my subject as I think fit/' I said this 
because I had inherited Butler's distrust of Charles Parwin, 
and remembered his saying somewhere that Francis Darwin 
and his brothers had descended from their father with 
singularly little modification. Perhaps I ought not to 
have said what I did. I ought to have remembered 
Francis Darwin's public references to Butler, not merely 
the one at Dublin in 1908, but also the one at the CardifF 
Meeting of the British Association in 1891, mentioned 
ante, p. 116, and another in 1901, when Mr. F. Darwin 
delivered a lecture at the Glasgow Meeting of the British 
Association On the Movements of Plants. The report of 
this lecture in Nature^ 14th November 1901, contains 
this sentence : " If we take the wide view of memory 
which has been set forth by Mr. S. Butler (JJfe and 
Habit^ 1878) and by Professor Hering, we shall be forced 
to believe that plants, like all other living things, have a 
kind of memory." And I ought to have remembered 
that it was partly because of these public allusions to Life 
and Habit by Francis Darwin that Buder had come to be 
more considered, and that people were beginning to under- 
stand that a very serious piupose underlies his humour. 

Nevertheless I am glad I used the words, because 
Francis Dar^n, in replying, commented upon them thus : 
" I do not think my letter to Mr. Cockerell showed any 
wish to interfere with your liberty ; I certainly have no 
such desire." Then after reading the papers he sent me, 
which I did with the greatest interest, I saw what a 
different light they threw on his father's silence, and I 
was able to write to him about my liberty in treating my 
subject : " You have not interfered with it, but you have 
done something else — you have altered the subject I have 
to treat." 

Mr. Francis Darwin and I corresponded about these 
letters until December 19 10. In the course of our 
correspondence I asked him whether he consented to my 
making public the fact, disclosed in the letters he sent me. 


that he and some of his brothers disapproved of the 191 > 
advice given by Huxley and Leslie Stephen ; at the same 
time I inquired whether he had had any other special 
reason for sending me the papers. He gave his consent^ 
and added : " I had hoped that the general impression of 
the papers sent you would have led you to suspect that 
Butler was mistaken, but I do not mean to complain if 
this is not in any degree the case." 

I understood him to mean mistaken in supposing 
that Charles Darwin had undertaken his book, Erasmus 
Darwin^ because of or with reference to Evolution Old and 
New. Even in 1879-80, when the events were proceed- 
ing, I had suspected that Butler might have been mistaken 
in this, and I therefore told Francis Darwin so. I could 
not tell him that my suspicion arose in consequence of 
reading the letters he sent me, but I told him that on 
reading them, and thinking them over again, I had 
become convinced that Butler must have been mistaken. 
Further, I said that if he had known what was contained in 
the letters he would have been confirmed in what he wrote 
in his preface to the second edition of Evolution Old and 
NeWy that Charles Darwin may have been right and he 
wrong, and would have taken or made an opportunity of 
putting the matter stnught. 

The case then stood thus : Butler's accusation was in 
three counts : 

(i) That Charles Darwin undertook Erasmus Darwin 
because of or with reference to Evolution Old and New ; 

(2) That his preface contained an error ; 

(3) That he made a mistake in the line he took when 
the error was pointed out to him. 

Francis Darwin admitted (3) by saying that he dis- 
approved of the way in which the matter was treated ; I 
gave up (i) by admitting that Butler must have been mis- 
taken ; and we agreed about (2). 

Having reached this point, Mr. F. Darwin wrote in a 
subsequent letter : " I have often regretted that when the 
quarrel began I did not go to Butler and have it out viva 
voce. I also think I was mistaken in not publishing in Life 
and Letters [of Charles Darwin] a full account of the thing." 


1911-12 All this correspondence was utilised by me in pre- 
paring a pamphlet, Charles Darwin and Samuel Butler: 
A Step towards Reconciliation^ which was published by 
Fifield in November 191 1 ; and, as is said at the opening 
of chap, xviii. ante, the expenses of publication were shared 
equally by Francis Darwin and myself at his request. 


During this year the British Museum held an exhibi- 
tion of prints and drawings, and included two of Butler's 

Soon after Butler's death Gogin handed to me the 
portrait of Butler which he had painted in 1896, and it 
hung in my house in Maida Vale untU 191 1, when it was 
given to the National Portrait Gallery, where it was hung 
soon after the i8th June, 1912. They have a rule not 
to hang portraits until ten years after the death of the 
subject. When I opened negotiations with the Gallery I 
told them that this portrait belonged to Gogin, and that 
he was giving it to them. On my telling Gogin I had 
done so, he objected, saying that he considered he had 
given the picture to me, and that I was giving it to the 
Gallery. ''Besides/' he said, '* Butler would have liked 
the picture to have on it our three names : Portrait of 
Butler, painted by Gogin, presented by Jones/' Knowing 
that this was the case, I went to the Gallery and saw Mr. 
Holmes, who, as I understood, promised that it should 
be so recorded. But when the picture was hung I saw 
that this had not been done. I suppose I must have been 
too insistent with my first idea, and that the red tape was 
too strong. 

The fifth Erewhon dinner took place at Pagani's on 
1 2 th July, the date being fixed by Mr. Edmund Gosse, 
C.B., LL.D. There were about ninety persons present. 

After the two toasts. The King and The Memory of 
Samuel Butler, I told the guests about the discovery of 
Butler's lost *' Dialogue on Species," which is related more 
fully in chapter vii. ante. Speeches were made by Mr. 
Edmund Gosse, Phipson Beale, Dr. Rowland Thurnam, 
Desmond MacCarthy, and Sir Charles Holroyd. 

xuii 6th & 7th EREWHON DINNERS 429 


I gave to St. John's College, Cambridge : (i) A water- 19U-H 
colour sketch made by Butler, when an undergraduate, of 
a part of the river ; (2) the two copies of his pamphlet. 
The Evidence fir the Resurrection^ cut about and bound 
into one, mentioned ante ; (3) the two copies of the 
Greek Testament, full of marginal notes in Butler's hand- 
writing, also mentioned ante. 

The sixth Erewhon dinner was held at Pagani's on 
the I ith July. The day was fixed to suit the Master of 
St. John's College, Cambridge (Mr. R. F. Scott), and 
there were about 112 persons present. After the two 
toasts, The King and The Memory of Samuel Butler, 
speeches were made by Professor W. H. Hudson, who 
was an undergraduate at St. John's with Butler, and 
by Mr. William Aubrey Willes, who accompanied Butler 
from New Zealand to London in 1864, and gave us an 
account of the voyage, the substance of which is contained 
in his letter, ante, I. 109-1 10. The Master of St. John's, 
Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, and Mr. E. S. P. Haynes also 

Mr. John F. Harris, of St. John's, wrote an account 
of the proceedings, which appeared in The Cambridge 
Magazine of nth October, 19 13. 


The seventh Erewhon dinner was held on 3rd July, 
John Harris came and stayed with me for a few weeks 
before the dinner, and made himself extremely useful 
in sending out the cards and generally assisting in the 
preparations. He wrote an account of the dinner and the 
speeches, which appeared in The Press (Christchurch, 
N.Z.). There was an innovation on this occasion and 
ladies were present ; also we had to move from Pagani's, 
because there was not room for us all there, and the dinner 
took place at the Holbom Restaurant. There were about 
1 60 present. The date was fixed by Mrs. Bernard Shaw, 


1914 who was accompanied by her husband. After the two 
usual toasts. The King and The Memory of Samuel 
Butler, and an opening speech from me, the Right 
Hon. Mr. Justice Williams gave some account of his 
friendship with Butler during early years in New 

The Hon. Mrs. Richard Grosvenor, formerly Mrs. 
Alfred Bovill, spoke of the honour conferred on her in 
being asked to speak at the first Erewhon dinner to 
which ladies were invited. She introduced herself by 
quoting Butler's note about the clergyman beinj? a kind 
of human Sunday, his sister being a kind of human 
Good Friday, and Mrs. Bovill a human Easter Monday 
or some other Bank Holiday (ante, p. 94). This, she 
said, was the greatest compliment that had ever been paid 
to her in woi^s. She concluded with several anecdotes, 
including the one about Butler's losing his ''bloody 
ticket" (ante, p. 119), and a description of Butler as she 
remembered him. 

Among the other speakers were Desmond MacCarthy, 
who spoke of Butler's philosophy, and humour, and s^d 
that his religion might be described as " a good rollick- 
ing broad church paganism " ; George Bernard Shaw ; 
Gilbert Ginnan who, alluding to Butler's declining to 
take orders in 1859, said that the doing of something 
''awful" was a necessary preliminary to nnding oneself; 
and Henry Marriott Paget, who gave some reminiscences 
of his student days with Butler at Heatherley's. Among 
those who did not speak was Miss Grace Stebbing, a 
daughter of the Rev. Henry Stebbing, who is mentioned 
ante, I. 230. The fact that her father wrote the opening 
review in the first issue of The Athenaeum^ and was for 
many years closely connected with the paper to which 
Butler so frequently contributed, made Miss Grace Stebbing 
an appropriate link with the past. 

I had Mrs. Shaw on my right and Mrs. Grosvenor on 
my left, and when the dinner was over I signed to Alfred 
that I wanted him. He came and shook hands with Mrs. 
Grosvenor. He did more ; he patted her on the back 
and said : 


" Thank you, Mum. I heard every word you said, 1914 
and you done it very nice and very feelin*." 

On the 1 6th August Alfred's son, Alfred John dthie, 
the nipper who in 1897 got lost in Leather Lane and 
was brought home by a pcdiceman, ** otherwise he would 
or rather was being taken to the police station," went to 
France and served with his regiment. He had enlisted 
in the Royal Field Artillery in February 19 14. Here 
are some samples of his letters home : 

Alfred John Cathie to his Mother. 

Thundajfi Oct. Ith^ 1914. 

Dear Mother — ^Many thanks indeed for parcel received 
on Oct. 7th. There was only one fitult with i^ that was, the 
smell from the soap had penetrated into the cake and chocolate 
which gave it a beautiful flavour ; still we got through it alright. 
So please don't send any more soap as we now get well supplied 
with it. 

I am glad to say I am still well and hope to remain so. We 
have been very busy since we arrived here, but hope it will soon 
be over so as to get back. We get on alright under the circum- 
stances, the food is alright and we don't do at all bad. 

When we arrived at Boulogne we had a fine reception, 
arriving on Wednesday morning and remained in the town until 
the evening, then left for a camp about three miles outside the 
town. There we stopped till Friday afternoon when we entrained 
for Veaux. We had a fine journey ; the French people gave us 
a splendid reception all along the line. At each stopping place 
there was refreshments of all description, one could have anything 
they required. Arriving at Veaux at midnight we disentrained 
and billeted in a field about half a mile from the station. After 
fixing up the horse-lines it was three o'clock, so we had two 
hours sleep. 

We left there at 5 o'clock on Saturday morning, and started 
on the march and were marching all day and, it being very hot, 
some of us felt it. In the evening we came to a halt and had a 
few hours rest and resumed our marching on Sunday mornine. 

Crossing the frontier we arrived in Mons Sunday, midday, 
when we stayed in a field to have dinner. We had not been m 
there half an hour when we received an order to pack up and the 
brigade had to go into action. We were then in action the 
remainder of the day. On Monday the firing was resumed until 
the afternoon when an order was given for a general retirement. 



1914 We were then retiring for two weeks towards the South of 
France, to a place called Fontenoy just below Meaux. There 
we started our advancing towards the Aisne. I think I'll finish 
now and let joix know more in my next letter. 

Give my love to Dad and the girls, and I shall be very pleased 
to hear fix>m them. 

Hoping to hear from you soon and with very best love. 
From your affectionate son, Alf. 

Alfred J. Cathie to his Father and Mother. 

3 Nw. 19 14— We are at present in the thick of it, having 
shifted our position from the Aisne and gone further north. My 
word I we did have a warm time there ; we were in action for 
thirty days. Our Headquarters are now billeted in a farm-house, 
and we had rather a quiet time until three days ago, when two 
French batteries came into action in the next field, and since then 
we have had it rather warm. 

The Germans have been dropping shells all about us, trying to 
find these batteries. The colonel has given orders for us to dig 
trenches, so as to take cover when a hot fire is on. Here I am at 
present writing this letter in my trench shared by a chum, and 
the batteries are keeping up a constant fire, and shells bursting all 
. around — it's very exciting. Still, apart from this, we haven't done 
so bad ; of a morning, first thing, when there are no shells about, 
a couple of us go out and milk a cow. 

Alfred J. Cathie to H. F. Jones. 

qth Nov. 1 9 14 — ^We found it very trying on the retreat from 
Mons, we were marching on the average twenty-five miles every 
day with little rest. How pleased we were when we reached 
Fontenoy, a small town a few miles below Meaux, and started 
advancing on Sept. 6th. Then we knew something was being 
done ; but on the retreat we seemed to be running away every day 
from the enemy and making no attempt to stop their advancing. 
This greatly disheartened the troops j of course we did not know 
the scheme at the time. 

Alfred J. Cathie to his Father. 

2nd Dec. 19 14 — ^We are still in the rest camp • • • I can tell 
you we are living like lords at present, but God knows we have 
earnt it. It's quite a pleasure to get out of range of the beastly 
Jack Johnsons and shrapnel shells, and this is the only time we 



are able to have a good time. The drivers take their horses out 1915-16 
for exercise in the morning, then turn them in the fields to graze. 
I now hear that one of our batteries have gone into action 
fourteen miles away to support the Indian Division, so that leaves 
us with two batteries. 

We have with us a small French cart which the officers use 
to put their food in, the colonel bought it on the retirement at a 
place called Guise. When we were coming out of our last 
* position we had a slight accident with the cart. As we left the 
farm-house where we were staying and got on the road, the fellow 
who was leading the horse at the time (it was the colonel's 
servant) did not know the road, and about 50 yards down there 
was a big shell hole and, of course, it had been raining very hard 
two or three days previous to this, so the hole got filfed up with 
mud and water and not noticeable. When we got to this a part 
of the harness broke, the wheels of the cart went into the hole 
and the body and shafts went up in the air and the driver went 
walking on with the horse. Laugh — I thought I should have 
died, it was so funny ; we were all standing in mud up to our 
knees trying to get the cart out. And we were all sweating in 
case a shell coming ; before this we had had a heavy shelling, 
anyhow we got out of it alright. I sometimes take the cart out 
into Hazebruck to get supplies for the officers. I go with one of 
the French interpreters (we have two in the brigade), and he goes 
moimted and I drive the cart. I think I best ring ofF now and 
tell you some more another time. 

I am happy to say that this boy, Alfie, is still (June 
19 16) 'Mn the pink," as he expresses it. He has been 
home on leave twice ; on each occasion he came to dine 
with me, and we went to a theatre. His two sisters are 
living at home with their parents. Florrie is assistant in 
the Home and G)Ionial Stores in the Roman Road, Bow ; 
and Annie is machinist to a firm that makes underclothing 
in Bunhill Row. 


Miss Butler died at Shrewsbury on the 6th of January. 

In March Mr. Edward Clodd wrote that he was 
preparing a book of Reminiscences, and wished to include 
in it some letters he had from Butler. Streatfeild had no 
objection, but asked him to send copies of them. They 
were written at the time Butler was finishing Life and 
Habity and disclosed what was to me a new and interesting 

VOL. II 2 F 


1916 fact, namely, that Mr. Edward Clodd was the friend who 
introduced him to Mivart*s book. The Genesis of Species 
(ante, I. 258). This friend is referred to again, with his 
name again suppressed, on p. 34 of Unconscious Memory 
(1880), " How I wrote Life and Habits 

Butler's pictures, sketches, and studies were distributed, 
some to the British Museum, others to friends, but no 
list was kept. The destination of some of them has been * 
already mentioned. Alfred has several, and I took those 
that were left over. Onft^ of his portraits of* himself was 
sent to Christchurch, New Zealand, and hung in the 
Museum there, where also hangs his portrait of Mr. Cass 
(ante, I. 128). GogLn took one of the early portraits — 
a very curious one — and I have another. 

^The MSS. of his books and music have been nearly 
all given away, and particulars will be found in the biblio- 
graphy at the beginning of this Memoir. We did not 
find the MS. of A First Tear in Canterbury Settlement ; 
it may have been lost or destroyed ; in any case it was 
not likely to be among Butler's papers, because the book 
was seen through the press by his family. Nor did we 
find any MS. of the pamphlet, The Evidence for the 
Resurrection. All his other papers and MSS. are with 
Streatfeild, including a translation of the Works and Days 
of Hesiod, which he made while he was engaged upon the 
Odyssey. It has not yet been published, and it is die only 
work of his which has not hitherto been referred to in 
this Memoir. 

As a consequence of Mr. A. T. Bartholomew's publi- 
cation of Butler's Simeonite Tract in TKe Cambridge 
Magazine of March i, 19 13 (ante, I. 47), I made his 
. acquaintance on the 7th of May following, and soon after 
the seventh and last Erewhon dinner I was talking to 
him about this Memoir. I had written it, in the sense 
that I had covered the canvas, before the publication of 
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler in 19 12. The reception 
of that book showed me that I had laid the Memoir on 
' lines that were imnecessarily reticent. I spent about 
eighteen months in going through the MS. and in putting 
in many more letters, reminiscences, and notes. Then I 

xLiii A. T. BARTHOLOMEW 435 

had it copied and gave it to Bartholomew to read. There i9<6 
were reasons why it could not Se published immediately, 
and, in the meantime, I was growing older and becoming 
less able to work. I knew that the printing of a book is 
always a troublesome business, and was b^;inning to 
feel the force of what Elmsley must have meant when, 
in one of his letters to Dr. Butler, he wrote of an author 
as being the worst person to put one of his own works 
through the press. Butler quoted this in his Note-Books, . 
and added : *' It seems to me that he is the worst person [ 
also to make selections from his own notes or indeed, in j 
my own case, even to write them.'* Whether I am the 
worst person to write a Memoir of Butler is a question | 
not to be decided by me ; it cannot be decided by any one 
until some other person shall write another life of Butler 
which may be compared with mine. I realised, however, ' 
that during the necessary delay in publishing my work 
I should inevitably be growing still older and becoming 
a still less suitable person to put it through the press. I 
told Bartholomew of my difficulty, and he urged me to 
print the book at once and keep it ready. This idea 
commended itself to me, especially as he was willing to I 
help. Early in 19 15 I was so fortunate as to make terms 
with Messrs. Macmillan, and by June 1 9 1 5 we had gone 
to press. 

I cannot say how much Bartholomew has helped me 
with the preparation of the MS. for the press and with 
the correction of the proofs ; and besides all this, he has 
compiled the bibliography and the index. If I were to 
attempt adequately to express my obligations to him he 
would give me more trouble than I could successfully 
contend with, and at the end of a book of thislengtn 
one may be permitted to shrink from a struggle with the 
scruples of modesty. 

It was one of his many wise coimsels that formal 
mention should not be made in this chapter of the publi- 
cation of the novel, or of new editions of Butler's books, 
or of the books and articles about him which have 
appeared since his death. They are included in the 
bibliography, and the omission of them here has helped to 


1916 make this chapter less scrappy and diffuse than it would 
otherwise have been. Nevertheless I fear that, more 
than any other chapter in the book, it lays itself open to 
the charge brought by Mr. Murray against The Life and 
Letters ofI>r. Eutkr-^ihzX. it is gft'oflffittlhi' ggliie rum. I 
console myself by remembermg that Butler replied, ^' Yes, 
but life is an omnium gatherum,!' thus dotrrerting a defect 
into a merit. If I could discover the many other Befects 
wKich I am sure must be lurking in these volumes, I 
would do my best to convert them also into merits iif I 
could not remove them before it is too late. 

I have one other consolation. My final chapter is, 
as Butler said of " The Righteous Man," " the end, at any 
rate, of a very long thing." His " very long thing " being 
a discussion of ethical problems, and mine being a bio- 
graphy, our two cases are not strictly parallel. There is 
let^;th and length. This Memoir is, I admit, long in 
the sense that it contains many thousands of words ; it 
could not be otherwise ; Butler would have been displeased 
with me if I had given him' fewer words than he^gave his 
grandfather. Numbers of words, however, may escape 
censure unless they result in tediousness, and I do not 
admit that this book is tedious. But that Ts 'to raise 
anotlier question, which can only be decided by the 



A. Review of Erewhou^ by Miss Savagb, from The Drawing- 

RooM Gazstts (% June i%j%) . . . - . 439 

B. Summary of Letter from Butler to Thomas William 

Gale Butler about the Life and Habit Theory (18 
February 1876) 444 

C. Documents relating to the Quarrel between Charles 

Darwin and Butler which arose out of the English 
Translation of Dr. Krause's Erasmus Darwin . 446 

D. Chronology and Addenda for Thb Way of All Flbsh . 468 

E. Inventories for Outings. ••••••• 47a 





{Cf. Memoir,!. is'S) / 

Erehhon. TrUbmr &• Co. 


Chamfort says in one of his maxims that ^what generally iS7a 
makes the success of a book is the affinity between the mediocrity % 
of the ideas of the author and the mediocrity of the ideas of the : 
public." We will hope for the sake of the author of Erewhon ^ 
that this aphorism does not contain more than the usual measure • 
of aphoristic truth, otherwise we should predict for his book only a 
very limited appreciation, for it is abounding in ideas of which not 
one may be accused of mediocrity. We do not think, however, 
that Erewhon will fail to be popular. It is a satire sharp and caustic 
enough, but tempered throughout by fun so irresistible that we 
laugh while we wince, and even when we might think the 
author's satirical powers misdirected we feel disposed to forgive. 
The hero of the tale, who tells his own adventures, is what he 
himself would call ^a young gentleman." He is a very good 
young gentleman, of a -religious turn of mind ; one may say of 
him, as Mr. Disraeli said of Mr. Gladstone, that he is ^'a man 
without a single redeeming vice*'; and he is possessed of an 
inestimable treasure in the shape of a never-fiuling spring of 
serene self-satisfaction. He is orthodox in all his opinions and 
glories in the hct that his mother was the daughter of an arch- 
deacon. In spite of his clerical descent, however, he is consider- 
ably misinformed with respect to the ceremonies of the English 
Church and fancies that baptism and christening are two distinct 
rites. He jumbles up Paley's Evidences with Butler's Analogy^ 
and charmingly misquotes Shakespeare. But he is alwajrs pleased 
with himself, he is always deeply impressed with his own superi- 
ority. In fiict, he is a prig, and never has the character been 
more amusingly set forth. Moliire would not have disowned 



it7a it; and, indeed, there are touches here and there, which, if it 
were possible for departed spirits to be moved by earthly passions, 
would make him writhe with envy. Such, for instance, is the 
passage where he savs that ^ the recollection of the many false- 
hoods he was obliged to tell would render his life miserable were 
it not for the consolations of his religion." Now and again, how- 
ever, the author drops the mask and makes his hero speak as he 
would himself. It is in these intervals that we are treated to the 
few charming bits of description that are scattered through the 
book — brief and but sparingly introduced, they add picturesque- 
ness and vividness to the narrative without in the least overloading 
it. We extract from the first chapter a description of the scenery 
in the colony whence the adventurous hero started on the journey 
that resulted in the discovery of the kingdom of Erewhon, the 
signification of which name our readers will probably be able to 
find out for themselves : 

The country was the grandest that can be imagined. 
How often have I sat on the mountain side and watched the 
waving downs, with the two white specks of huts in the 
distance, and the little square of garden behind them ; the 
paddock with a patch of bright green oats above the huts, 
and the yards and wool-sheds down on the flat below ; all 
seen as through the wrong end of a telescope, so clear and 
brilliant was the air, or as upon a colossal model or map 
spread out beneath me. . . . 

Never shall I forget the utter loneliness of the prospect — 
only the little fiu^-away homestead giving sign of human 
handiwork ; the vastness of mountain and plain, and river 
and sky; the marvellous atmospheric effects— sometimes 
black mountains against a white sky, and then again, after 
cold weather, white mountains against a black sky — 
sometimes seen through breaks and swirls of cloud — ^and 
sometimes, which was best of all, I went up my mountain in 
a fog, and then got above the mist ; going higher and higher, 
I would look down upon a sea of whiteness, through which 
would be thrust innumerable mountain tops that looked like 

I am there now, as I write ; I fancy that I can see the 
downs, the huts, the plain and the river-bed — that torrent 
pathway of desolation, with its distant roar of waters. Oh, 
wonderful I wonderful ! so lonely and so solemn, with the 
sad grey clouds above, and no sound save a lost lamb bleating 
upon the mountain side, as though its little heart were 
breaking. Then there comes some lean and withered old 
ewe, with deep gruff voice and unlovely aspect, trotting back 
from the seductive pasture t now she examines this gully, and 


now that, and now she stands listening with uplifted head, 187a 
that she may hear the distant wailing and obey it. Aha ! 
they see, and rush towards each other. Alas 1 they are both 
mistaken ; the ewe is not the lamb's ewe, they are neither 
kin nor kind to one another, and part in coldness. Each 
must cry louder, and wander &rther yet j may luck be with 
them both, that they may find their own at nightfall. But 
this is mere dreaming, and I must proceed. 

He could not help speculating on what might lie on the other 
side the ranges, and hoping to find good pasture land and, 
perhaps, gold, he set forth on a voyage of discovery accompanied 
by an old native called Chowbok, whom he endeavours to convert 
to Christianity. Chowbok, however, has an invincible repugnance 
to crossing the main range, and deserts his master just as the 
latter is on the point of discovering a pass over the nearer 
mountains. But undaunted by the probable dangers of the enter- 
prise our hero pushes on alone, and, as he says himself, ^ by good 
luck. Providence being on his side," he reaches the kingdom of 
Erewhon, after passing through many and various perils, very 
graphically related, and being fi-ightened almost to death by a 
circle of gigantic stone figures of fiendish aspect that guard the 
last pass, and that utter fearfiil and most unearthly noises, their 
heads and bodies being, as he afterwards discovers, hollowed out 
into a sort of organ pipes which sound with every breeze. The 
inhabitants of the coimtry are a magnificent race of people, and 
they treat the adventurer with much kindness and some dis- 
tinction. They hold that physical health and beauty is the 
highest good, and our hero has inherited from his clerical ancestors 
an excellent constitution and a splendid physique as well as blue 
eyes and yellow hair, which being extremely rare in Erewhon are 
very greatly admired. His health and his complexion, therefore, 
win for him a good deal of respect ; but at first he was regarded 
with suspicion ; he had a watch in his possession, and that in 
Erewhon is considered a capital crime. It appears that some 
centuries ago the Erewhonians had reached our stage of civil- 
isation, overpassed it, and then, frightened by a book written by 
a learned professor, and convinced by his arguments that the 
perfection towards which machinery was so rapidly tending would 
result in the subjection of the human race to the machines, they 
decided after long years of civil war to destrov all machines that 
had not been in use for 271 years, this period being fixed so as to 
exclude a certain kind of mangle in use among the washerwomen, 
and held to be dangerous. The learned professor's essay is 
translated, and his arguments are so logical and so precise that 
thev almost carry conviction to the reader's mind and cause him 
to look upon the simplest mechanical contrivances with much 



it7a the same sort of uneasiness as that with which Goethe's student 
of magic must have regarded the broomstick. 

These strange people have other peculiarities. They look 
upon all diseases as crimes to be punished severely, in some cases 
even with the penalty of death. Consequently they conceal with 
the greatest cunning any tendency to ill-health. We have an 
account eiven us of the trial of a yotmg man for pulmonary 
consumption, who, though his disease is the result of necessary 
antecedent causes, is treated as if his health was completely under 
his own control, and condemned to imprisonment with hard 
labour for the rest of his life ; the only curative treatment 
adopted towards him being the administration of two table- 
spoonfiils of castor oil daily. On the other hand, Erewhonians 
are perfectly frank and open about their moral failings, and they 
have among them a sort of soul-doctors called ^ straiehteners, 
whom they consult, as we do our physicians. Mr. >fosnibor, a 
gentleman of vast wealth, who received our hero into his house, is, 
at the time of the visit, undergoing medical treatment for having 
swindled a confiding widow out of the whole of her fortune. 
The treatment prescribed by the ^ straighteners " consists mainly 
in money fines and floggings. We are also introduced to a 
young lady who conceals her real weakness of health under the 
mask of dipsomania. The meaning of this satire on the treatment 
of our own criminals is easy enough to read, and may be profitably 
pondered in our minds. We have not space enough to enlarge 
on the other institutions of the Erewhonians ; their religious 
dogmas ; their theory of the pre-existence of souls ; their worship 
of the dread goddess Ydj^run, who is the personification of the 
"Que dira-t-on ? " that mghtens so many honest people. It is 
enough to say that the lash of the author's satire fiuls fiercely on 
many of our social and religious hypocrisies and unrealities. 

In the account of the Colleges of Unreason we have an 
amusing parody of the education bestowed in our own universi- 
ties. The young men are instructed principally in the science 
of hjrpothetics and the hypothetical languages, the study of 
possibilities and remote contingencies being considered as an 
infinitelv better preparation for the business of life than that of 
actualities, a knowledge of which they are expected to pick up as 
they go along. This part of the satire, though the driest in the 
book, is nevertheless sufficiently diverting, especially the defence 
of " Unreason ** and the account of the schools of Inconsistency 
and Evasion, in which last science the more "earnest'' and 
"conscientious" students acquire a proficiency that is quite 
amazing. Many besides narrow-minded old Tories will enjoy 
the sly hit at the present Government, and chuckle over the 
inscriptions above the doors of the lecture rooms of the professors 


of these two sciences: ^Consistency is a vice which degrades 1872 
human nature and levels man with the brute** ; and ^It is the 
glorv of the Parliament to make a law — it is the glory of the 
minister to evade it.** 

After a residence of two years in the country, the hero, who 
has fallen in love with a young lady, elopes with her in a balloon. 
The narrative of the escape is told with much power and is very 
interesting. After various adventures he arrived with his wife in 
London where he is now, supporting himself, he tells us, by 
writing eood little stories for the magazines. He has decided on 
purely arbitrary grounds that the Erewhonians are the descendants 
of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and he is ambitious of converting 
them to Christianity, as by doing so he would secure a position 
such as has not been attained by more than fifteen or sixteen 
persons since the creation of the universe ; he would rank above 
the minor prophets, and possibly above any Old Testament 
writer except Moses and Isaiah. But he is not ambitious of 
religious distinctions only; '^il vise au solide,** and wishes to 
combine a commercial enterprise with his missionary efforts. 
He has, therefore, elaborated a plan for a joint-stock company 
which shall bring vast profits to the shareholders. In this 
scheme, suggested by a speech of Lord Normanby reported in 
The TimiSy the author*s irony throws so clear a light on the 
unrighteous nature of the dealings of certain of our colonists with 
the Polynesians that it should make them hang their heads for 
very shame. 



(i8 FEBRUARY 1876) 

(Cf. Memoir, I. 234) 

i%j^ I. Actions which we have acquired with difficulty we now 
perform almost unconsciously, e.g> playing the piano, reading, 
writing, walking. As soon as we know how to do a thing 
exceedingly well, consciousness in respect of it vanishes. As 
long as we know that we know a thing we do not know it ; we 
only know it when we do not know of our knowledge. 

2. Whatever we do in this way is all one in kind, the differ- 
ence is in degree. We play the piano almost unconsciously, we 
write more unconsciously, we read very unconsciously, we walk 
and talk still more unconsciously ; our breathing is, to a certain 
extent, under our control, our heart's beating is perceivable but not 
under control, our digestion is unperceivable and beyond control. 

3. A baby cannot grow itself in the womb unless it knows 
how to do it, and to know how to do it, it must have done it 
before or it will be contradicting all human experience. Its 
unconsciousness is the result of over-knowledge. 

4. It learnt to do it when it did it before ; that is, on the 
previous occasions when it was an impregnate ovum. 

5. It has attained to unconscious knowledge of how to do it 
by doing it a very great number of times in the persons of its 

6. But how about identity ? There is no identi^ of 
matter between me as I am now and me as I was when 1 was 
an impregnate ovum, but there may be continuity of existence. 
And there may be a modified identity between me as an 
impregnate ovum and my father and mother as impregnate ova. 
Let us consider my ovum as the means adopted by my parents* 
ova not for reproducing themselves but for continuing themselves, 
and let us see the intermediate lives as a long potato shoot from 
one eye to the place where it will grow its next tuber. 


7. Given a single creature capable of reproducing itself and 1S76 
it must reproduce a creature capable of reproducing itself and 

so on ad infinitum. 

Then comes Descent with Modification. Similarity tempered 
with dissimilarity and dissimilarity tempered with similarity — 
a contradiction in terms like almost everything else that is true 
or useful or indeed intelligible at all. A begets A' which is A 
with the additional experience of the dash. A' begets A', which 
is A with the addirional experience of A' and A' and so on to 
A% but you can never eliminate the A. 

8. Let A° stand for a man. He begins as the primordial 
cell splitting himself up for ever, and for ever gaining experience, 
always doing as he did before when last he was in the same 
position but always with the additional experience gained by his 
having done it once oftener than when he did it last. First he 
will do his tadpoles by rote, so to speak, on his head, from long 
practice ; then he does his fish trick ; then he grows arms and 
1^8, all unconsciously from the inveteracy of habit till he comes 
to doing his man, and this lesson he has not yet learnt so 
thoroughly. Some part of it, as the breathing and oxidisation 
business he is well up to, inasmuch as they form part of previous 
rdles, but the teeth and hair, the upright position, the power of 
speech, though all tolerably familiar, give him trouble — ^for he is 
very stupid, a regular dunce in fact. Then comes his newer and 
more complex environment and this puzzles him — arrests his 
attention — ^whereas consciousness springs into existence, as a spark 
from a horse's hoof. 

Thus we are all one animal, and reproduction and death are 
phases of the ordinary waste and repair which go on in our 
bodies daily. 



(Cf. Memoir^ ch. xviii.) 











6. i88o February i 

7. i88o February 2 

8. [i88o] February 4 

9. 1880 

10. 1880 

11. 1881 

12. 1881 
[13] 1882 

December 8 
February i 
February 3 

14. 1885 

15. 188s 

16. 1887 November 26 

17. 1887 December 17 

Butler to Darwin. 

Darwin to Butler. 

Butler to Darwin. 

Butler in The Athenaeum, 

Darwin to The Athenaeum. 
Proposed letter No. i. 

Darwin to The Athenaeum. 
Proposed letter No. 2. 

Darwin to Huxley. 

Darwin to Huxley. 

Extracts from chapter iv. of t7»- 
conscious Memory, 

Butler in The St. Jamefs Gazette. 

Butler to Messrs. Macmillan & Co. 

Butler in Nature, 

[Butler's Pre&ce to the Second 
Edition of Evolution Old and 
NeWj given in the text, ante, vol. 
I. p. 370] 

Translation by Butler of an Ex- 
tract from Charles Darwin by 
Ernst Krause (Leipzig, 1^85), pp. 
185, 186. 

Butler's Note on the above Extract. 

Butler in The Athenaeum. 

Butler in The Academy. 



Jmauny irul^ iSSo. 


Butler to Darwin. 

Charles Darwin, Esq., F.R.S., &c. 

D£AR Sir — ^WiU you kindly refer me to the edition of iSSo 
Khsmos which contains the text of Dr. Krause's article on Dr. 
Erasmus Darwin, as translated by Mr. W. S. Dallas ? 

I have before me the last February number of Kosmos^ which 
appears by your preface to be the one from which Mr. Dallas 
has translated, but his translation contains long and important 
passages which are not in the February number of Kosmasj while 
many passages in the original are omitted in the translation. 

Among the passages introduced are the last six pages of the 
English article, which seem to condemn by anticipation the 
position I have taken as regards Erasmus Darwin in my book 
Evolution Old and New and which I believe I was the first to 
take. The concluding and therefore, perhaps, most prominent 
sentence of the translation you have given to the public stands 
thus : 

Erasmus Darwin's system was in itself a most significant 
first step in the path ot knowledge his grandson has opened 
up for us, but to wish to revive it at the present day, as 
has actually been seriously attempted, shows a weakness of 
thought and a mental anachronum which no one can envy. 

The Kosmos which has been sent me from Germany contains 
no such passage. 

As you have stated in your preface that my book. Evolution 
Old and NeWy appeared subsequently to Dr. Krause's article, and 
as no intimation is given that the article has been altered and 
added to since its original appearance, while the accuracy of the 
translation as though from the February number of Kosmos is, as 
you expressly say, guaranteed by Mr. Dallas's ^scientific reputa- 
tion together with his knowledge of German," your readers will 
naturally suppose that all they read in the translation appeared in 
February last, and therefore before Evolution Old and New was 
written, and therefore independently of, and necessarily without 
reference to, that book. 

I do not doubt that this was actually the case, but have fiuled 
to obtain the edition which contains the passage above referred 
to, and several others which appear in the translation. 

I have a personal interest in this matter, and venture, there- 
fore, to ask for the explanation which I do not doubt you will 
readily give me. — Yours fiiithfully, S. Butler. 




Darwin to Butler* 

Januofy \rdy iSSo. 

i8So My dear Sir — Dr. Krause, soon after the appearance of his 
article in KosmoSy told me that he intended to publish it separately 
and to alter it considerably, and the altered MS. was sent to Mr. 
Dallas for translation. This is so common a practice that it 
never occurred to me to state that the article had been modified ; 
but now I much regret that I did not do so. The original will 
toon appear in German, and I believe will be a much larger book 
than the English one; for, with Dr. Krause*s consent, many 
long extracts from Miss Seward were omitted (as well as much 
other matter) from being in mv opinion superfluous for the 
Elnglish reader. I believe that the omitted parts will appear as 
notes in the German edition. Should there be a reprint of the 
English Life^ I will state that the original as it appeared in 
Kosmos was modified by Dr. Krause before it was translated. I 
may add that I had obuined Dr. Krause's consent for a transla- 
tion before your book was announced. I remember this because 
Mr. Dallas wrote to tell me of the advertisement. — ^I remain. 
Yours fiiithfully, C Darwin. 

Butler to Darwin. 

1$ Clifford's Inn, E.C, 
Jan, a I, iSSo. 

DiAR Sir — ^I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 3rd inst. which I should have done sooner had 1 not been 
in great doubt what course to adopt in regard to it. 

I have now decided on laying the matter before the public 
and have accordingly written to The Athinaeum stating the 
&cts. — I am, Yours faithfully, S. Butler. 


/'" Butler in " The Athenaeum'' (31 Jan. 1880). 


/ « Evolution Old and New.'* 

I beg leave to lay before you the following hcts : 
On February 22, 1879, my book Evolution Old and New was 
announced. It was published May 3, 1879. It contained a 


comparison of the theory of evolution as propounded by Dr. 1880 
Erasmus Darwin with that of his grandson, Mr. Charles Darwin, 
the preference being decidedly given to the earlier writer. It 
also contained other matter which I could not omit, but which I 
am afraid may have given some offence to Mr. Darwin and his 

In November 1879, Mr. Charles Darwin's Life of Erasmus 
Darwin appeared. It is to the line which Mr. Darwin has taken 
in connexion with this volume that I wish to call attention. 

Mr. Darwin states in his preface that he is giving to the 
public a translation of an article by Dr. Krause, which appeared 
^'in the February number of a well-known German scientific 
journal, Kosmosy^ then just entered on its second year. He adds 
in a note that the translator's '^scientific reputation, together 
with his knowledge of German, is a guarantee for its accuracy." 
This is equivalent, I imagine, to guaranteeing the accuracy 

In a second note, upon the following page, he says that my 
work Evolution Old and New '^ has appeared since the publication 
of Dr. Krause's article." He thus distinctly precludes his 
readers from supposing that any passage they may meet with 
could have been written by the light of, or with reference to, 
my book. 

On reading the English translation I found in it one point 
which appeared to have been taken from Evolution Old and New 
and another which clearly and indisputably was so ; I also found 
more than one paragraph, but especially the last — and perhaps 
most prominent in the book, as making the impression it was 
most desired the reader should carry away with him — which it 
was hard to believe was not written at myself; but I found no 
acknowledgment of what seemed taken from Evolution Old and 
New nor any express reference to it. 

In the face of the English translation itself, it was incredible 
that the writer had written without my work before him ; in the 
face of the preface it was no less incredible that Mr. Darwin should 
have distinctly told his readers that he was giving them one article, 
when he must have perfectly well known that he was giving them 
another and very different one. 

I therefore sent for the February number of Kosmos and 
compared the original with what purported to be the translation. 
I found many passages of the German omitted, and many in the 
English article were wholly wanting in the German. Among 
these latter were the passages I had conceived to be taken from 
me and the ones which were most adverse to me. 

Dr. Krause's article begins on p. 131 of Mr. Darwin's book. 
There is new matter on pp. 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 

VOL. II 2 G 


iS8o 139, while almost the whole of pp. 147-152 inclusive and all the 
last six pages are not to be found in the supposed original. 

I then wrote to Mr. Darwin, putting the hcts before him 
as they appeared to myself, and asking for an explanation. I 
received answer that Dr. Krause's article had been altered since 
publication, and that the altered MS. had been sent for translation. 
*^ This is so common a practice,** writes Mr. Darwin, with that 
** happy simplicity *' of which The Pall Mall GazitU (Dec 12th, 
1879) declares him to be "a master," "that it never occurred to 
me to state that the article had been modified ; but now I much 
regret that I did not do so.'* Mr. Darwin further sa]rs that, 
should there be a reprint of the English Life of Dr. Darwinj he 
will state that the original as it appeared in Kosmos was modified 
by Dr. Krause. He does not, however, either deny or admit that 
the modification of the article was made by the light of, and with 
a view to, my book. 

It is doubtless a common practice for writers, to take an 
opportunity of revising their works, but it is not common when a 
covert condemnation of an opponent has been interpolated into a 
revised edition, the revision of which has been concealed, to 
declare with every circumstance of distinctness that the con- 
demnation was written prior to the book which might appear to 
have called it forth, and thus lead readers to suppose that it 
must be an unbiassed opinion. S. Butler. 

P.S.—A reviewer in The Pall Mall Gazette (Dec 12th, 
1879) quotes the last sentence of the spurious matter, apparently 
believing it to be genuine. He writes : " Altogether the fiicts 
established by Dr. Krause's essay thoroughly justify its concluding 
words : 'Erasmus Darwin*s svstem was in itself a most significant 
first step in the path of knowledge which his grandson has opened 
up for us, but the wish to revive it at the present day^ as has 
actually been seriously attempted, shows a weakness of thought 
and a mental anachronism which no one can envy.* ** On diis 
(which his no place in the original article, and is clearly an 
interpolation aimed covertly at myself) the reviewer muses forth a 
general gnome that ^ the confidence of writers who deal in semi- 
scientific paradoxes is commonly in inverse proportion to their 
Erasp of the subject.** When sentences have been mis-dated, the 
iss they contain about anachronisms the better, and reviewers 
who do not carefully verify Mr. Darwin's statements should not 
be too confident that they have grasped their subject. 

I have seen also a review of Mr. Darwin's book in The 
Popular Science Review for this current month, and observe that it 
does ''occur to*' the writer to state (p. 6g\ in flat contradiction to 
the assertions made in the preface of the book he is reviewing, 



that only part of Dr. Krause's original essay is being given by iSSo 
Mr. Darwin. It is plain that this reviewer had seen both Kosmos 
and Mr. Darwin's book. 

The writer of the review of Evolution Old and New — ^which 
immediately follows the one referred to in the preceding paragraph 
^-quotes the passage above given as quoted by Tho Pall Mall 
Gazette, I see it does ^ occur to** him, too— -again in flat 
contradiction to Mr, Darwin's pre&ce — to add that ^^ this 
anachronism has been committed by Mr. Samuel Butler in a . . • 
little volume now before us, and it is doubtless to this, which 
appeared while his own work was in progress [italics mine], that 
Dr. Krause alludes in the above passage." 

Considering that the editor of 'The Popular Science Review 
and the translator of Dr. Krause's article for Mr. Darwin are one 
and the same person, it is likely that The Popular Science Review 
has surmised correctly that Dr. Krause was writing at Evolution 
Old and New j yet he seems to have found it very sufficiently 
useful to him. 

Darwin to " The Athenaeum.^* 

Proposed Letter No. I. 

Down, Bbckbnham. 
January 24/A, i88a 

Sir — Mr. fiutler in his letter in your last number seems to 
think me guilty of intentional duplicity in not having stated in 
the preface to my notice of the Life of Erasmus Darwin, that Dr. 
Krause had considerably altered the article in Kosmos before he 
sent it to Mr. Dallas for translation. In my private letter to Mr. 
Butler I said that it was so common a practice for an author to 
alter an article before its republication, diat it never occurred to 
me to state that this had been done in the present case. After- 
wards a dim recollection crossed my mind that I had written 
something on the subject, and I looked at the first proof received 
from Messrs. Clowes and found in it the following passage, here 
copied verbatim : 

Dr. Krause has taken great pains, and has added largely 
to his essay as it appeared in Kosmos ; and my preliminary 
notice, having been written before I had seen the addi- 
tions, unfortunately contains much repetition of what Dr. 
Krause has said. In fact, the present volume contains two 
distinct biographies, of which I have no doubt that by Dr. 
Krause is much the best. I have left it almost wholly to 


itto him to treat of what Dr. Darwin has done in sdeno^ more 

especiailj in regard to evolution. 

This proof sheet was sent to Dr. Krause, with a letter in 
which I said that on further reflection it seemed to me absurd to 
publish two accounts of the life of the same man in the same 
volume; and that as my notice was drawn up chiefly from 
unpublished documents^ it appeared to me best that my account 
alone of the life should appear in England, with his account of 
the scientific works of Erasmus Darwin, but that he could, of 
course, publish the extracts from Miss Seward, etc, in the 
German edition. Dr. Krause, with the liberality and kindness 
which has characterised all his conduct towards me, agreed 
instantly to my suggestion ; but added that he thought it better 
that the text of the German edition should correspond with the 
English one, and that he would add the extracts, etc., in a supple- 
ment or in foot-notes. He then expressly asked me to strike out 
the passage above quoted, which I did ; and having done so, it 
did not occur to me to add, as I ought to have done, that the 
retained parts of Dr. Krause*s article had been much modified. 
It seems to me that anyone on comparing the article in Kosm^s 
with the translation, and on finding many passages at the 
beginning omitted and many towards the end added, might have 
inrerred that the author had enlarged and improved it, without 
suspecting a deep scheme of duplicity. Finally, I may state, as 
I did in my letter to Mr. Butler, that I obtained Dr. Krause's 
permission for a translation of his article to appear in England, 
and Mr. Dallas agreed to translate it, before I heard of any 
announcement of Mr. Butler's last book. 

He is mistaken in supposing that I was offended by his book, 
for I looked only at the part about the life of Erasmus Darwin ; 
I did not even look at the part about evolution ; for I had found in 
his former work that I could not make his views harmonia^ with 
what I knew. I was, indeed, told that this part contained some 
bitter sarcasms against me ; but this determined me all the more 
not to read it. 

As Mr. Butler evidently does not believe my deliberate 
assertion that the omission or any statement that Dr. Krause had 
altered his article before sending it for translation, was uninten- 
tional or accidental I think that I shall be justified in declining 
to answer any future attack which Mr. Butler may make on 
me. — Sir, Your obedient servant, Charles Darwin. 

[Note. — The passage " He is mistaken . . . not to read it *• 
is marked as having been objected to, and there is a note showing 
that the whole letter was disapproved of by all Mr. Darwin's 

LJ <-.^ .^Bj.— ,pwp.» .. ^mm^gs^^^^BrtrntltJ W .'•PPC^^ •■J'— 


Darwin to " The Athenaeum.^* 

Proposed Letter No. n. 

Down, Bbckenham, Keht, 
February ist, 1880. 

« Evolution Old and New:' 

Sir — ^In regard to the letter from Mr. Butler which appeared 1880 
in your columns last week under the above heading, I wish to 
state that the omission of anv mention of the alterations made by 
Dr. Krause in his article before it was re-published had no con- 
nection whatever with Mr. Butler. I find in the first proofs 
received from Messrs. Clowes the words : ^ Dr. Krause has 
added largely to his essay as it appeared in Kosmos,** These 
words were afterwards accidentally omitted, and when I wrote 
privately to Mr. Butler I had forgotten that they had ever been 
written. I could explain distinctly how the accident arose, but 
the explanation does not^ seem to me worth giving. This 
omission, as I have already said, I much regret. It is a mere 
illusion on the part of Mr. Butler to suppose that it could make 
any difference to me whether or not the public knew that Dr. 
Krause's article had been added to or altered before ;being 
translated. The additions were made quite independently* of any 
suggestion or wish on my part. 

As Mr. Butler evidently does not believe my deliberate 
assertion that the above omission was unintentional, I must 
decline any further discussion with him. — Sir, Your obedient 
servant, Charles Darwin. 

Darwin to Huxley. 

Down, Bbccbnham, Kent, 
Fthruary znd^ 1880. 

My dear Huxley — I am going to ask you to [do] me a 
great kindness. Mr. Butler has attacked me bitterly, in fact 
accusing me of lying, duplicity, and God knows what, because I 
unintentionally omitted to state that Krause had enlarged his 
Kosmes article before sending it for translation. I have written 
the enclosed letter [Proposed letter No. II.] to The Athenaeum^ ^ 
but Litchfield [Mr. Darwin's son-in-law] is strongly opposed to I 
my making any answer, and I enclose his letter, if you can find 






gilo time to read it. Of the other members of my family, some are 
for and some against answering. I should rather like to show 
that I had intended to state that Krause had enlarged his article. 
On the other hand a clever and unscrupulous man like Mr. 
Butler would be sure to twist whatever I may say against me ; 
and the longer the controversy lasts the more d^rading it is to 
me. If my letter is printed, both the Litchfields want nfe to 
omit the two sentences now marked by pencil brackets, but I see 
no reason for the omission. 

Now will you do me the lasting kindness to read carefully 
the attack and my answer, and as I have unbounded confidence 
in your judgment whatever you advise that I will do : whether 
you advise me to make no answer or to send the enclosed letter 
as it stands, or to strike out the sentences between brackets ? — 
Ever yours sincerely, Charlbs Darwin. 

P.S. — Since writing the above I have received another letter 
from Litchfield with a splendid imaginary letter from Butler, 
showing how he probably would travesty my answer. He tells 

me that he took The Athenaeum to Mr. P and asked him 

(without giving any hint of his own opinion) whether Butler's 
attack ought to be answered, and he said ^ No.** But I wait in 
anxiety for your answer as this will decide me. 

[Note, — The two sentences marked by pencil brackets are 
^ I could explain • • • worth giving," and ^ As Mr. Butler • • • 
with him."] 

Darwin to Huxley. 

Down, Bbcicbnham, Kbnt. 
Feb. 4 [iSSo]. 

My dear Huxley — Oh Liord, what a relief your letter has 
been to me ! I feel like a man condemned to be hung who has 
|ust got a reprieve. I saw in the future no end of trouble, but 
feared that I was bound in honour to answer.' If you were 
here I would show you exactly how the omission arose. . . . You 
have indeed done me a lasting kindness. — Yours affectionately, 

Ch. Darwin. 

The affair has annoyed and pained me to a silly extent ; but 
it would be disagreeable to anyone to be publicly called in feet 
a liar. He seems to hint that I interpolated sentences in Krause's 
MS., but he could hardly have really thought so. Until quite 
recently he expressed great friendship for me, and said he had 
learnt all he knew about evolution from my books^ and I have 


-'"^li"' ■"TTT'l^i^W^^^^^ 


no idea what has made him so bitter against me. You have done 1880 
me a great kindness. . . . 

Extracts from Chapter iv. of " Unconscious Memory '* 

{published 1880). 

B7 far the most important notice of Evolution Old and New 
was that taken b^ Mr. Darwin himself; for I can hardly be 
mistaken in believmg that Dr. Krause's article would have been 
allowed to repose unaltered in the pages of the well-known 
German scientific journal, Kosmosj unless something had happened 
to make Mr. Darwin feel that his reticence concerning his grand- 
father must now be ended. . • . 

This [Darwin's letter of 3 January 1880] was not a letter I 
could accept. If Mr. Darwin had saia that by some inadvertence, 
which he was unable to excuse or account for, a blunder had 
been made which he would at once correct so far as was in his 
power by a letter to The Times or The jfthenaeum^ and that 
a notice of the erratum should be printed on a fly leaf and pasted 
into all unsold copies of the Lt/e of Erasmus Darwin^ there 
would have been no more heard of the matter from me ; but 
when Mr. Darwin maintained that it was a common practice to 
take advantage of an opportunity of revising a work to interpolate 
a covert attack upon an opponent, and at the same time to 
misdate the interpolated matter hy expressly stating that it 
appeared months sooner than it actually did, and prior to the 
work which it attacked ; when he mamtained that what was 
being done was ^^ so common a practice that it never occurred " 
to him — ^the writer of some twenty volumes — to do what all 
literary men must know to be inexorably requisite, I thought 
this was going far beyond what was permissible in honourable 
war&re and that it was time, in the interests of literary and 
scientific morality, even more than in my own, to appeal to 
public opinion. 1 was particularly struck with the use of the 
words "it never occurred to me and felt how completely of 
a piece it was with the opening paragraph of The Origin of 
Species^ It was not merely that it did not occur to Mr. Darwin 
to state that the article haa been modified since it was written — 
this would have been bad enough under the circumstances — but 
that it did occur to him to go out of his way to sav what was 
not true. There was no necessity for him to nave said anything 
about my book. It appeared, moreover, inadequate to tell me 
that if a reprint of the English Life was wanted (which might 

' The opening paragraph of Th* Origin ofSpecitt is quoted by Butler in his letter 
to Nature of 3 Feb. 1881 given post, p. 460. 


itto or might not be the case, and if it was not the case, why, a 
shrug of the shoulders and I must make the best of it), Mr. 
Darwin might perhaps silently omit his note about my book, as 
he omitted his misrepresentation about the author of The Vestiges 
•f Creation and put the words ^revised and corrected by the 
author'' on his title-page. ... 

When I thought of Bufibn, of Dr. Erasmus Darwin, of 
Lamarck, and even of the author of The Vestiges of Creation to 
all of whom Mr. Darwin had dealt the same measure which he 
was now dealing to mjself ; when I thought of these great men, 
now dumb, who had borne the burden and heat of the day, and 
whose laurels had been filched from them ; of the manner, too, 
in which Mr. Darwin had been abetted by those who should 
have been the first to detect the fallacy which had misled him ; 
of the hotbed of intrigue which science has now become ^ of the 
disrepute into which we English must fall as a nation if such 
practices as Mr. Darwin had attempted in this case were to be 
tolerated ; when I thought of all this, I felt that though prayers 
for the repose of dead men's souls might be unavailing, yet a 
defence of their work and memory, no matter against wluit odds, 
might avail the living, and resolved that I would do my utmost 
to make my countrymen aware of the spirit now ruling among 
those whom they delight to honour. . . . 

Here, then, I take leave of this matter for the present. If 
it appears that I have used language such as is rarely seen in 
controversy, let the reader remember that the occasion is, so far 
as I know, unparalleled for the cynicism and audacity with which 
the wrong complained of was committed and persisted in. I 
trust, however, that though not indifferent to this, my indigna- 
tion has been mainly roused, as when I wrote Evolution Old 
and NeWy before Mr. Darwin had given me personal grounds of 
complaint against him, by the wrongs he has inflicted on dead 
men on whose behalf I now fight, as I trust that some one — 
whom I thank by anticipation — may one day fight on mine. 


Butler in " The St. James's Gazette'' (8 Bee. i88o), 

Mr. Darwin and Mr. Butler. 

I should fail in respect to your readers if I were to let your 
review of my book. Unconscious Memory^ pass entirely witnout 

Your reviewer is mistaken in thinking that I have any 
quarrel with Mr. Dallas, who, it seems to me, was placed in « 


difficult position and behaved very well. Dr. Krause should not 1S80 
have taken passages from me without acknowledgment ; but 
'^ this is so common a practice that it never occurred to me " to 
be angry at it. My complaint is against Mr. Darwin only, and 
rests upon the following grounds : 

In February, 1879, Dr. Krause published an account of Dr. 
Erasmus Darwin in a German periodical, Kosmos, At the end 
of the same month my book. Evolution Old and NeWy was 
announced. It was published May 3, 1879. It contained a 
comparison of the theory of evolution as propounded by Dr. 
Erasmus Darwin with that of his grandson, Mr. Charles I^urwin, 
the preference being decidedly given to the earlier writer. It 
also contained other matter which I could not omit, but which 
I am afraid Mr. Darwin and his friends did not like. 

In the summer of 1879 a translation of Dr. Krause's essay 
with a preliminary life of Dr. Erasmus Darwin was announced as 
forthcoming from the pen of Mr. Charles Darwin. In November, 
1879, ^^ appeared. In his preface to this work Mr. Darwin 
stated that he was giving a translation of the article by Dr. 
Krause which had appeared in Kosmos ; he said the accuracy of 
the translation was guaranteed by the well-known attainments of 
the translator, Mr. W. S. Dallas. He further expressly stated 
that my work Evolution Old and New appeared since Dr. Krause's 
article. At the time he said this he was not giving the article as 
it stood before Evolution Old and New was published, but another 
and very different one — namely, the article after it had been 
modified by the light of, and with a view to, Evolution Old and 
NeWy so as to become practically an attack upon that work. 

When I say modified, I do not mean a little modified, but 
greatly and materially so ; pages together of the original article 
being omitted, and pages together of entirely new matter intro- 
duced. I may say that one new passage of nearly two pages, 
consisting of translation from BufFon, was obviously derived from 
Evolution Old and New itself ; I thus prove that Dr. Krause had 
Evolution Old and New before him while revising his work. 
Another new passage is presumably from the same source. The 
concluding six pages of the professed translation are entirely new. 
The last, and perhaps most prominent, sentence is as follows : 
^^ Erasmus Darwin's system was in itself a most significant first 
step in the path of knowledge which his grandson has opened up 
to us ; but to wish to revive it at the present day, as has actually 
been seriously attempted, shows a weakness of thought and a 
mental anachronism which no one can envy.'' This passage is in 
itself an anachronism, as I have elsewhere said, for it is antedated. 
Through Mr. Darwin's pre&ce it professes to have appeared in 
February, 1879. It did not appear till November 1879. Mr. 


igso Darwin says it appeared before my book Evolution Old and Niw ; 
it did not appear till six months afterwards. It is spurious — not 
what it professes to be ; for it professes, through Mr. Darwin's 
pre&ce, to be translated from a certain article in KosmoSj whereas 
the article contains no such passage. It is an interpolation 
directed at myself. Professedly written by one who had never 
seen Evolution Old and NiW ; in truth written at that book by 
one who had it before him. 

I wrote to Mr. Darwin, and said in substance : ^ There is an 
attack upon my last book apparently interpolated into a work for 
which you are responsible, and you have expresslv stated that the 
attack appeared before my book was published ; will you explain ? " 
Mr. Darwin replied that Dr. Krause had indeeid altered his 
article before it was transbted, and continued, ^This is so 
common a practice that it never occurred to me to state that the 
article had been modified ; but I now much regret that I did not 
do so. . . . Should there be a reprint of the English Life I will 
state that the article as it appeared in Kosmos was modified by 
Dr. Krause before it was translated." The rest of the letter is 
irrelevant This ignored my complaint. Mr. Darwin's letter, 
though it sounds like an apology, is a skilful evasion of the 
gravamen, and, as such, an aggravation of the offence. He 
neither admits nor denies that a covert attack upon myself had 
been interpolated and antedated. He does not attempt to repair 
the mischief temporarily by any of the many and easy means of 
doing so. The only reparation he offers is contingent upon a 
second edition of the Life of Erasmus Darwin being called for. 
As a matter of fact, a second edition has not been called for. 

The substance of the foregoing appeared in a letter which I 
wrote to The jfthenaeum^ January 31, 1880. The charge was 
grave ; it was made with great publicity ; I gave my name, and 
referred to accessible documents, but there was no rejoinder. I 
have therefore gone more fully into the matter in Unconscious 
Memory^ in the hope of drawmg attention to what, on public 
grounds, should not be allowed to pass over in silence. 

For the rest, let me ask your readers to turn to Unconscious 
Memory itself. The book is short, and printed in a clear large 
type, which will render it easy reading. 

I would also ask vour reviewer to be kind enough to refer 
your readers and myself to those passages of Mr. Herbert Spencer^s 
Principles of Psychology which in any direct, intelligible way refer 
the phenomena of instinct and heredity generally to memory on 
the part of offspring of the action which it bona fide took in the 
persons of its ancestors. I shall be delighted to make acquaintance 
with them. 

Dec. 4 [1880]. 

jT'^^W^PgF— —^MW BF?^ ■ ■■ IIIB..LL.",^-Ji .^■■iUv 



Butler to Messrs. Macmillan 6f Co. 

15 Clifford's Inn, B.C. 
Feb, I//, 1 88 1. 

Gentlemen — I have received a letter from the editor of 1881 
Nature declining to insert my letter unless I modify it so as not to 
make it "a vehicle for attacking Mr. Darwin.'* It is obvious that 
this is impossible if I am to reply adequately to Mr. Romanes' article 
and Dr. Krause's letter. 

I received proof direct from the printer yesterday evening, 
corrected it, made some additions and posted it before I received 
the editor of Natures letter. The proof as returned corrected is 
the only reply which will set nlv case adequately before the 
public I consider therefore that the editor of Nature declines to 
insert my rejoinder and reply to Dr. Krause. 

If I understand my position rightly — and I should say that the 
counsel's opinion which my solicitors are takine has not yet reached 
them — the matter is not one between myself and the editor of 
Nature but between myself and you as publishers of the matter 
complained of. I must inform you therefore that unless my 
letter as returned amended to the printers last night is inserted in 
the next number of Nature I consider you to have refused the 
redress which I have applied for. 

This letter is written without prejudice to any course I may be 
presently advised to take. — ^I am, Yours &ithfully, 

S. Butler. 


Butler in ''Nature'' (3 Feb. 1881). 

Mr. S. Butler's Unconscious Memorv. 

I must reply to the review [signed by Mr. Romanes] of my 
book Unconscious Memory in your issue of the 27th inst., and to 
Dr. Krause's letter on the same subject in the same issue. 

Mr. Romanes accuses me of having made ^^a vile and abusive 
attack upon the personal character of a man in the position of 
Mr. Darwin " which I suppose is Mr. Romanes' way of saying 
that I have made a vile and abusive personal attack on Mr. 
Darwin himself. It is true I have attacked Mr. Darwin, but 
Mr. Romanes has done nothing to show that I was not warranted 
in doing so. I said that Mr. Darwin's most important pre- 
decessors as writers upon evolution were BuiFon, Dr. Erasmus 


iSSi Darwin, Lfamarck and the author of TA/ Festiges rf Cnatim, 
In the first edition of The Origin of Species Mr. Darwin did 
not allude to BuiFon nor to Dr. Erasmus Darwin, he hardly 
mentioned Lamarck, and he ignored the author of The Festiges of 
Creation except in one sentence. This sentence was so gross 
a misrepresentation that it was expunged — silently — in later 
editions. Mr. Romanes does not and cannot deny any part of this. 
I said Mr. Darwin tacitly claimed to be the originator of the 
theory of evolution, which he so mixed up with the theory of 
'^ Natural Selection'' as to mislead his readers. Mr. Romanes 
will not gainsay this. Here is the opening sentence of JTu 
Origin of Species : 

When on board H.M.S. Beagle as naturalist, I was much 
struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants 
of South America, and in the geological relations of the 
present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These 
&cts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of 
species — that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by 
one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it 
occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be 
made out on this question by patiently accumulating and 
reflecting on all sorts of facts which comd possibly have any 
bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to 
speculate on the subject and drew up some short notes ; 
these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, 
which then seemed to me probable ; from that period to the 
present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope 
that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, 
as I give Uiem to show that I have not been hasty in coming 
to a decision" — {Origin of Species^ p. i. ed. 1859). 

What could more completely throw us off the scent of the 
earlier evolutionists, or more distinctly imply that the whole 
theory of evolution that followed was an original growth in Mr. 
Darwin's own mind ? 

Mr. Romanes implies that I imagine Mr. Darwin to have 
^entered into a foul conspiracy with Dr. Krause, the editor of 
Kosmos " as against my book Evolution Old and NeWy and later on 
he supposes me to believe that I have discovered what he calls, in 
a style of English peculiar to our leading scientists, "an erroneous 
conspiracy." The idea of any conspiracy at all never entered my 
mind, and there is not a word in Unconscious Memory which will 
warrant Mr. Romanes' imputation. A man may make a cat's 
paw of another without entering into a conspiracy with him. 

Later on Mr. Romanes sajrs that I published Evolution Old 
and New in the hope of gaining some notoriety by deserving, and 

— ■ iB^J«»*B55Ba5W*^"!ii""i^^»^^W«P^^i«»W»»Bi 


perhaps receiving, a contemptuous refutation at the hands of Mr. 1881 
Darwin. I will not characterise this accusation in the terms 
which it merits. 

I turn now to Dr. Krause's letter, and take its paragraphs in 

1. Dr. Krause implies that the knowledge of what I was 
doing could have had nothing to do with Mr. Darwin's desire to 
bring out a translation of his (Dr. Krause's) essay, inasmuch as 
Mr. Darwin informed him of his desire to have the essav 
translated ^^ more than two months prior to the publication of 
my book Evolution Old and New. This, I have no doubt, is 
true, but it does not make against the assumption which I made 
in Unconscious Memory^ for Evolution Old and New was announced 
fully ten weeks before it was published. It was first announced 
on February 22, 1879, as about to contain ^copious extracts'* 
from the works of Dr. Erasmus Darwin and a comparbon of his 
theory with that of his grandson Mr. Charles Darwin. This 
announcement would show Mr. Darwin very plainly what my 
book was likely to contain ; but Dr. Krause does not say that 
Mr. Darwin wrote to him before February 22, 1879— presumably 
because he cannot do so. I assumed tnat Mr. Darwin wrote 
somewhere about March i, which would stiU be ^ more than two 
months before " the publication of Evolution Old and New. 

2. Dr. Krause says I assume that '^Mr. Darwin had urged 
him to insert an underhand attack upon him (Mr. Butler).'* I 
did not assume this ; I did not believe it ; I have not said any- 
thing that can be construed to this effect. I said that Dr. 
Krause's concluding sentence was an attack upon me; Dr. 
Krause admits this. I said that under the circumstances of Mr. 
Darwin's pre&ce (which distinctly precluded the reader from 
believing that it could be meant for me) the attack was not an 
open but a covert one ; that it was spurious — not what through' 
Mr. Darwin's preface it professed to be ; that it was antedated i 
that it was therefore a spurious and covert attack upon an 
opponent interpolated into a revised edition, the revision of which 
had been conceded. This was what I said, but it is what neither 
Mr. Romanes nor Dr. Krause ventures to deny. I neither 
thought nor implied that Mr. Darwin asked Dr. Krause to write 
the attack. This would not be at all in Mr. Darwin's manner. 

3. Dr. Krause does not deny that he had my book before 
him when he was amending his article. He admits having taken 
a passage from it without acknowledgment. He calls a page 
and a half ^ a remark," I call it ^' a passage." He says he did not 
take a second passage. I did not say he had. I only said the 
second passage was ^^ presumably " taken from my book, whereas 
the first ^ certainly " was so. The presumption was strong, for 


1881 the passage in question was not in Dr. Krause's original article ; 
it was in my book which Dr. Krause admits to have had before 
him when amending his article ; but if Dr. Krause says it is 
merely a coincidence, there is an end of the matter. 

4. Dr. Krause, taking up the cudgels for Mr. Darwin, does 
not indeed deny the allegations I have made as to the covertncss 
and spuriousness and antedating of the attack upon myself, but 
contends that '^ this is not due to design, but is simply the result 
of an oversight ** ; he is good enough to add that this oversight 
" could only be most agreeable '' to myself. When I am not in 
the wrong I prefer my friends to keep as closely as they can to 
the fiicts, and to leave it to me to judge whether a modification 
of them would be most agreeable to myself or no. What, I 
wonder, does Dr. Krause mean by oversight? Does he mean 
that Mr. Darwin did not know the conclusion of Dr. Krause*s 
article to be an attack upon myself? Dr. Krause says, ^To 
every reader posted up in the subject this could not be doubtful," 
meaning, I suppose, that no one could doubt that I was the person 
aimed at. Does he mean to say Mr. Darwin did not know he 
was giving a revised article as an unrevised one ? Does he mean 
that Mr. Darwin did not know he was saying what was not true 
when he said that my book appeared subsequently to what he was 
then giving to the public ? Does he pretend that Mr. Darwin's 
case was not apparently made better and mine worse by the 
supposed oversight ? if the contention of oversight is possible^ 
surely Mr. Darwin would make it himself, and surely also he 
would have made it earlier? Granting for a moment that an 
author of Mr. Darwin's experience could be guilty of such an 
oversight, why did he not when it was first pointed out, more 
than twelve months since, take one of the many and easy means 
at his disposal of repairing in public the injury he had publicly 
inflicted ? If he had done this he would have heard no more 
about the matter from me. As it was, he evaded my gravamen 
and the only step he ever proposed to take was made contingent 
upon a reprint of his book being called for. As a matter of fact, 
a reprint has not been called for. Mr. Darwin's only excuse for 
what he had done, in his letter to myself, was that it was "so 
common a practice" for an author to take an opportunity of 
revising his work that " it never occurred to " him to state that 
Dr. Krause's article had been modified. It is doubtless a common 
practice for authors to revise their work but it is not common 
when an attack upon an opponent is known to have been inter- 
polated into a revised edition, the revision of which is concealed, 
to state with every circumstance of distinctness that the attack 
was published prior to the work which is attacked. 

To conclude — I suppose Mr. Romanes will maintain me to 



be so unimportant a person that Mr. Darwin has no call to bear 1882-5 
in mind the first principles of fair play where I am concerned, 
just as we need keep no &ith with the lower animals. If Mr. 
Darwin chooses to take this ground, and does not mind going on 
selling a book which contains a grave inaccuracy, advantageous to 
himself and prejudicial to another writer, without taking any 
steps to correct it, he is welcome to do so as far as I am concerned 
— he hurts himself more than he hurts me. But there is another 
aspect of the matter to which I am less indifferent : I refer to 
its bearing upon the standard of good &ith and gentlemanly 
conduct which should prevail among Englishmen — and perhaps 
among Germans too. I maintain that Mr. Darwin's action and 
that of those who, like Mr. Romanes, defend it has a lowering 
effect upon this standard. S. Butler. 


[Butler's Pre&ce to the Second Edition (1882) of Evolution 
Old and New written on the occasion of the death of Charles 
Darwin appears in the text of this Memoir, vol. I. p. 370.] 


Translation by Butler of an Extract from " Charles Darwin ** 
by Ernst Krause {Leipzig^ 1885), />p. 185, 186. 

Unfortunately there was an oversight in connection with 
this version [Erasmus Darwin'] which, though of trifling 
importance, gave occasion to vindictive attacks upon Darwin. 
He had forgotten in his preface to say that mv essav had been 
revised and added to before being translatea. One of the 
additions was the concluding sentence of the essay, which ran 
as follows : 

Erasmus Darwin's system was in itself a most signi- 
ficant first step in the path of knowledge which his grand- 
son has opened up to us, but to wish to revive it at the 
present day, as has actually been seriously attempted, shows 
a weakness of thought and a mental anachronism which no 
one can envy. 

These words referred to an English author Mr. Samuel 
Butler, who three months after the appearance of my essay had 
published a book {Evolution Old and New. London, 1879) 
which, among other absurdities, sought to show that the theory 
of evolution put forward by Erasmus Darwin was much more 
sensible and more near the truth than that of his grandson. 


itS5 As soon as the English version of my essay, with Darwin*s 
introduction, had appeared, this not very scrupulous writer, in 
his endeavour to make it a means of gaining notoriety, accused 
Darwin in several English journals of having had the translation 
made for the sole purpose of endeavouring to discredit by anticipa- 
tion his book Evolution Old and New which, when the translation 
was begun, had not yet been published. He contended that, 
with this end in view, Darwin had purposely said nothing about 
the revision of my essay, and given the revised translation as 
though it were an accurate version of the original essay. In 
vain did Darwin write to his accuser expressing regret for his 
^serious oversight" and promising in a future edition to remove 
the cause. Samuel Butler came out remorselessly with a bulky 
book {Unconscious Memory. London, 1880) against ^^ the falsifier. 
The cause was ridiculous, for, if the oversight had been 
intentional, the only person whom it could have benefited was 
Mr. Butler himself, inasmuch as if the essay was what it pro- 
fessed to be the fiict of its having been written three or four 
months before Mr. Butler's book showed that the author could 
not possibly have been intending to class Mr. Butler with the 
weak-minded people mentioned in the article. A document 
which mentions Charlemagne cannot have been written before 
the birth of Christ, and one who is forging a pre-Christian Codex 
will be careful to avoid alluding to him. 

The occurrence is worth referring to for two reasons — firstly 
inasmuch as many readers may have heard of it without at the 
same time hearing the